Will Mary Lee The Great White Shark Return To Cape Cod?

As summer rolls onward, great white sharks continue to congregate off the coast of Cape Cod, yet several notable specimens have yet to make their way northward, including perhaps the most famous among them, Mary Lee.

A 16-foot-long, 3,400-pound white shark, Mary Lee, was tagged off the cape in September of 2012 by Ocearch researchers. Earlier this year, the great white found herself at the center of a social media craze when she swam northward along the New Jersey coastline. Mary Lee ventured as far as the shores of Long Island before turning south once again, and by the time the media frenzy had cooled off, the shark had garnered a large audience, accruing more than 83,000 followers to her Twitter account.

In the intervening months, the white shark has remained in southern waters, signaling from the coast of Georgia. As the Inquisitr recently reported, she is hardly alone there, as Katharine, another famed white shark tracked by Ocearch, has lingered off the Outer Banks in recent weeks, as well. With the advent of warming waters, researchers and followers of the sharks have wondered if the pair will travel northward anytime soon to join their fellow great whites, who are already moving into the cape.

Early in July, the first white shark of the season was tagged off the coast of Cape Cod, as NECN notes. The beginning of the season has already proven extremely eventful, with one great white shark becoming stranded by a retreating tide, forcing a rescue by authorities that elicited worldwide interest. As researchers continue their ongoing population study focused on the white sharks, they have even identified some repeat visitors to the region, yet the early season has also been notable for the absence of the two well-known Ocearch sharks.

James Gelsleichter, a marine biologist who happens to be part of the Ocearch team that tracks Mary Lee, notes that he expects the white shark will eventually make her way to Cape Cod, drawn by the same seal population that attracts her fellow great whites. As he told Boston Magazine, however, Mary Lee’s course is hardly guaranteed.

“Anything is fair game. It depends on what Mary Lee wants to do,” he noted.

In recent years, Mary Lee has traveled as far east as Bermuda, while otherwise keeping to a largely coastal pattern. Where she goes next is anyone’s guess, but researchers and fans will no doubt be watching to see if and when Mary Lee will decide to join her fellow great white sharks off the coast of Massachusetts.

[Image: Ocearch via WSET]