A great white shark, dubbed “Bruce” by Newcastle locals, has managed to keep beaches closed in the Australian city for a record eighth day, though conspicuously-absent dolphins have been spotted making their return to local waters.
Newcastle beaches will remain closed this weekend amid further sightings of the great white and several other sharks that have lingered in the area over recent days, according to the Newcastle Herald. Bruce, in particular, is a uniquely large great white, tipping the scales at an estimated 3,700 pounds. The white shark has been spotted consistently over the course of the last week, the New York Daily News reports, and according to the Newcastle council’s aquatic service coordinator, Peter Withers, Bruce is an unusual visitor to the area.
Shark spotted at Manly and Queenscliff. Hope it’s not the Newcastle Great White. pic.twitter.com/DH0rf4OHbC
— julie cross (@juliejourno) January 18, 2015
“We’ve consistently seen the big one every day,” he noted. “Certainly it’s the biggest shark we’ve ever had and it’s hung around longer than any other shark.”
The great white is joined by several others in the surf, including what is thought to be a large tiger shark. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the 3.5-meter-long shark was spotted earlier in the week, preying upon an unfortunate dolphin off Burwood beach. Several dolphin carcasses have washed ashore in the area, according to local authorities, exhibiting bite marks consistent with large sharks.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) January 16, 2015
On Saturday morning, the eighth day of beach closures, lifeguards noted a resurgence of the local dolphin population. Though they had only spotted two dolphins in the area over the last few days, Newcastle beach inspector Scott Hammerton related that observers were seeing a dramatic increase in their numbers.
“Right now I’m watching a pod go past with about 20 dolphins,” he said, adding “It’s nice having them back in the area. Newcastle is known for having a huge dolphin population, often we have huge pods just hanging at the beach all day.”
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) January 14, 2015
Despite the sharks’ presence, some beachgoers have not been able to resist the temptation to enter the water, and local lifeguards have performed three rescues this week amid the closures. Though the dolphins’ return is a welcome sign, Hammerton also noted that swimmers are still at risk, as the great white shark was spotted by a helicopter at Burwood beach, heading north within 400 meters of shore.
[Image: Peter Lorimer/Newspix/REX via the Telegraph]