Great White Shark Betsy Visits Louisiana Coastline

Satellite tracking data has revealed that a great white shark first tagged in Cape Cod has recently entered the Gulf of Mexico, paying an off-season visit to the Louisiana coastline.

Non-profit group Ocearch has tagged numerous sharks worldwide, yet perhaps none are more famous than their great whites. While two white sharks in particular, Katharine and Mary Lee, have garnered a great deal of media attention since they were first tagged, another of their species has since decided to make her home in the Gulf of Mexico.

The great white in question was named Betsy by the organization when she was tagged in August of 2013. According to the Ocearch website, the shark was first documented by the group in Cape Cod, the same region in which Katharine and Mary Lee were tagged. Unlike those sharks, however, Betsy has kept a far lower profile, quite literally.

Ocearch equips each of their sharks with a satellite tag that signals researchers when the animal’s fin breaks the surface. In the case of certain sharks, like Katharine, much of their time is spent in coastal waters or near the surface, and as a consequence they relay a great deal of data. Ocearch founder Chris Fischer has previously noted that Katharine in particular exhibits a dramatic coastal pattern and rises to the surface, “finning,” often, giving researchers a detailed record of her track.

Not so with Betsy, however. Over the course of the last year, the great white has signaled researchers just a handful of times, revealing herself as a denizen of the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. In the last 12 months, the great white has traveled from Rhode Island to the Louisiana coastline, though much of her movements remain shrouded in mystery.

Most recently, the 1,400 pound white shark was documented off the coast of Grand Isle, as the Times-Picayune noted. Betsy signaled at around 6:40 a.m. on June 5, only the fourth time she has done so since early April, when she was first detected in the Gulf.

While Ocearch is known for tracking sharks, not all of them are great whites. Researchers affiliated with the group recently documented a massive tiger shark, named Chessie, off the coast of South Carolina. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the shark was highly unique, and double the size of an average specimen of its species.

It remains to be seen where Betsy will next signal, yet with two “pings” in a single day, researchers are no doubt hoping the great white shark provides them with more information about her life in the Gulf.

[Photo by Ryan Pierse / Getty Images]

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