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Tracking Mary Lee: Shark Near Hatteras Last Week Returns To NY Coast

By: April Davis
By: April Davis
The great white shark Mary Lee  has been doing a lot of traveling since she was recently off the North Carolina coast.

OCEARCH photo. Used by permission.

The great white shark Mary Lee has been doing a lot of traveling since she was recently off the North Carolina coast.

Last week we told you Mary Lee was hanging out near Hatteras. Just 10 days later she is being tracked 500 miles north off the New York coast, more specifically near Long Island. The 3,500 pound shark has traveled as far south as Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Researchers say they know little about great whites traveling patterns, and they aren't quite sure why Mary Lee headed north so quickly.

Mary Lee is one of two great whites tagged by OCEARCH back in September off Cape Cod.



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A 16-foot great white shark continues to linger off the coast of North Carolina.

A large great white shark is continuing to head east, away from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The latest ping on the 16-foot shark named Mary Lee, from OCEARCH, showed the shark moving further north Wednesday. The shark was last located southeast of Nags Head and further east from the coast than its ping on Tuesday morning.



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A large great white shark is continuing to head east, away from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The latest ping on the 16-foot shark named Mary Lee, from OCEARCH, showed the shark moving further east early Tuesday.



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It appears a large great white shark named Mary Lee entered and exited Pamlico Sound through Ocracoke Inlet and was headed toward Hatteras Monday night according to OCEARCH's website.

After Mary Lee's 11:05 a.m ping off the village of Ocracoke, it appears the shark left through Ocracoke Inlet. She traveled north along the island, pinged at 12:36 p.m. and then again at 2:01p.m headed north toward Hatteras.

The non-profit research group says Mary Lee's track may be off by as much as six miles, so it's possible the shark was simply off shore, and not in the Pamlico Sound.



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A 16-foot great white shark is paying the Crystal Coast a visit today, and she may have briefly gone into the Pamlico Sound this morning.

A tracking device put on the 3,456-pound female shark showed her in the Pamlico Sound at 11:05 a.m. The shark, named "Mary Lee", was captured off Cape Cod September 17th by OCEARCH, a nonprofit research group that studies the ocean's giants. They fitted the mature shark with a tracking device and then released her back into the ocean.

Since then "Mary Lee" has been tracked to Jacksonville, Florida and has been making trips up the coast to Onslow County, back and forth, for the past month. The tracker says for the past couple of days the great white traveled along the Crystal Coast and this morning up to the Ocracoke Inlet.

Chris Fischer, founder and expedition leader for OCEARCH, told WITN that they can't definitely say that the shark was inside the sound. He says at that time the tracking quality was low and had up to a six-mile margin of error, so it was possible "Mary Lee" was a mile off the beach, and not in the sound.

He says this is first time they've been able to track a mature great white off the east coast for a long period of time. It's unknown whether it's normal for a shark to go into the Pamlico Sound, and Fischer says "Mary Lee" may be able to provide them pioneering research as they continue to track her movements.

"Mary Lee" was named for Fischer's mother.


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