Katharine the great white shark has returned to the waters off Florida less than a month after setting out from Cape Cod, passing through the coastal abode of another, far larger white shark named Mary Lee.
This year, Katharine lingered at the cape late in the season, leading some to speculate that she may winter in the area. As the water turned colder, however, the great white set off on a dramatic southerly track, moving with purpose into deeper water beyond the continental shelf, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Within just a few days, Katharine had traveled from Cape Cod to Pamlico Sound, startling residents of the Outer Banks with her proximity to the head of the Pamlico river.
— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) January 22, 2015
Earlier this week, Katharine was detected in a territorial range inhabited by another large white shark, Mary Lee. Two feet longer than Katharine and weighing 3,456 pounds to her visitor’s 2,300, Mary Lee has also been tagged by Ocearch. While Katharine has exhibited a dramatic coastal pattern that has taken her into the Gulf of Mexico and back to the Cape, Mary Lee spends a large amount of her time off Georgia and the Carolinas. Though she has made notable excursions over the last two years, even visiting Bermuda in a long arc that took her through the deep waters of the Atlantic, the white shark is nonetheless frequently found near the southern states.
On January 22, Katharine was spotted moving through Mary Lee’s habitat. According to the State, the sharks were both detected near each other, pinging from between 60 and 90 miles off the coast. Katharine didn’t linger in the area, however, and on January 24, she signaled just north of Jacksonville, marking her return to Florida waters for 2015.
Though Katharine and Mary Lee were both tagged in Cape Cod, they have much more in common, as WBTW notes. Both of the white sharks have become so popular on social media that they have their own Facebook and Twitter profiles, where fans can follow their progress.
Jerome Staub, an employee of a company that staffs Hilton Head Island with lifeguards and a fan of Katharine on Twitter, noted that the white sharks pose little threat to swimmers.
“With our beach, our water is very shallow where people are going to be swimming, and a 16 foot shark is not going to have an easy time moving around in our water, or even a 14 foot shark like Katharine. It’s just, they like deeper water and they like getting their prey from underneath, and they just can’t do that in our environment.”
It remains to be seen if Katharine will linger near Florida or repeat her journey from last year, which took the white shark deep into the Gulf of Mexico.
[Image: Ocearch via WMAZ]