A 9-foot-long great white shark has been spotted in Australia's Lake Macquarie, close to the scene of another recent sighting, along with a smaller, unidentified fish that some researchers believe could be the shark's offspring.
The shark was spotted by a trio of fishermen, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, just 100 meters from Murrays Beach, the site of a confirmed sighting several months ago. The anglers were startled when the white shark approached their boat and seemingly eyeballed them, investigating the craft, which was just a scant six-feet-longer than the predator itself.
"It just came up for a look at us, rolled on its side and cruised off," said Jimmy Blenkey, one of the trio. "We waited around for a while thinking it might come back, but it didn't."
Great white shark swims close to Washington coast, eats seal http://t.co/35esAqNMfQ @eopiniontv pic.twitter.com/2rwSh0CMzxMost startling to the fisherman, however, was the fact that the shark wasn't alone in the lake. A smaller fish trailed behind it, difficult to make out in the murky water. The anglers began to wonder if they were seeing a white shark pup following its mother, though there is little evidence that great whites remain with their parents after birth.
— Jaoana Dean (@thejaoana) February 25, 2015
Earlier this year, beaches around Newcastle were closed for a record number of days after a massive great white was spotted. As the Daily Telegraph points out, several other sharks were sighted in the region as well, including a juvenile great white, causing researchers to further question the sharks' parenting behavior.
Must-see photos: Huge great white shark caught, released in Florida http://t.co/rPqL0YQu3B pic.twitter.com/b2HGx0Q1bZ — The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) March 3, 2015Though the fishermen were able to capture several photos of the white shark, the murky nature of the water left the fish indistinct in the images. Other local anglers suggested that the smaller shark could actually be a cobia, a scavenger common in the region, though the trio assert that it was not.
"We have all caught cobias before and none of us thought it was one of those," Blenkey asserted. "But it obviously could be anything."
Last December, a juvenile white shark was spotted near a wharf in Lake Macquarie, sparking international headlines. As the Inquisitr noted at the time, the great white hunted in the shallows for an hour while curious onlookers filmed it.
Though experts examined the photos the anglers managed to take, distortion from the water made it nearly impossible for them to positively identify the great white sharks.
[Image: Gavin Fairclough via the Sydney Morning Herald]