The great white shark Deep Blue is pregnant, according to researchers at Guadalupe Island, but having baby sharks can be a dangerous time, even for a mother as monstrously fearsome and large as Deep Blue. A non-profit conservation group called Pelagios-Kakunjá is asking for help so they can track great white sharks in order to keep them safe.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a video of the great white shark, Deep Blue, showed the massive 22-foot shark giving a "high five" to a diver in a cage.
Not only is the female great white a veritable mega shark, it turns out that Deep Blue's "boyfriend" is also one of the largest male great white sharks in the world. Writing from his Facebook page, Mexican researcher Mauricio Hoyos Padilla showed the world just how big these great white sharks can get.
Padilla says the great white shark appears to be pregnant, although others have claimed that "not even a trained scientist can tell the difference between a pregnant shark and one that has eaten an enormous meal." Despite qualifying for the title of mega shark, Padilla says the great white shark Deep Blue still can find itself in danger when try to find a safe location to give birth.
"Deep Blue has been spared from longlines and the inherent dangers of being in the wild, and somehow she has found her way in the vast ocean. During November and December, we have seen several White Shark pregnant females like Deep Blue in Guadalupe Island feeding on seals, satisfying their needs to feed their pups. They remain in this protected area for a few months, but now there is a new challenge," Padilla wrote. "This amazingly enormous female is carrying several little baby White Sharks, just waiting to be swimming free in the Ocean. When White Sharks are about to give birth, they get close to the shore and deliver their pups in shallow areas, known as nursery grounds, which are full of food and free of predators. Unfortunately, these areas are close to shore and are very vulnerable to several human threats and Deep Blue, her pups and fellow White Sharks need your help!"
The main danger facing the great white shark Deep Blue is the choice of the nursery ground. It's possible the baby great white sharks could become caught in lines and nets used in shallow waters. Although it is illegal to hunt the great white shark, their body parts, such as teeth, jaws, and fins, are highly valued. Pregnant sharks are also "an easy target for gill nets that kill them by asphyxiation," so it is possible that hunters could target Deep Blue.
Padilla says Pelagios-Kakunjá hopes to raise money in order to tag all of the pregnant great white sharks near Guadalupe Island. With the tracking system in place, they hope to help the Mexican government protect the large sharks by generating a "baseline information for the regional management and implementation of conservation strategies for sharks and other top marine predators in the Mexican Pacific."
[Image via Mauricio Hoyos Padilla / Facebook]