It appears that residents of Bermuda won’t be seeing Katharine the great white shark in the coming weeks after all, as the massive predator has reversed course, returning to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Katharine’s destination for the summer season has been a mystery for weeks, as the white shark has remained in North Carolina while her fellow great whites converge on Cape Cod. Last week, the shark seemed to have decided that the waters surrounding Bermuda would be the best place to summer, as Katharine made a decisive course change, crossing the edge of the continental shelf and embarking into deeper waters, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Such a move is hardly unusual for the shark — last winter, Katharine remained in Cape Cod until early December, before suddenly setting course for Pamlico Sound.
— Katharine The Shark (@Shark_Katharine) August 10, 2015
By the morning of August 10, Katharine had covered more than a third of the distance from the North Carolina shoreline to Bermuda, making a slight course correction that would seemingly take her directly toward the island. Observers were surprised when the white shark’s fin next broke the surface, however, revealing that Katharine had abruptly reversed course and returned to the Outer Banks. The great white was then detected a second time just off the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the same area she has frequented for months.
Katharine and her fellow white sharks are reliable visitors to Cape Cod shores this time of the year, as the Boston Globe reports. Last week, researchers with the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, who are engaged in a population study focusing on the sharks, recorded 16 different great whites off the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham. The region is highly attractive for the predators due to a resurgent seal population, but this year’s tagging season has been notable for the absence of both Katharine and her fellow white shark, Mary Lee.
— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) August 10, 2015
A much larger shark than Katharine, Mary Lee garnered a large online following after swimming along the east coast from Florida to Long Island earlier this year. A Twitter account for the shark now boasts over 88,000 followers, making Mary Lee one of the most popular great whites in the world. She has since returned to Georgia, as the Savannah Morning News reports, where the shark was most recently detected.
Only time will tell if Mary Lee or Katharine make their way north to summer in Cape Cod. In the meantime, however, researchers and Katharine’s fans will no doubt watch the movements of both great white sharks closely to see where they end up.
[Image: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images]