A great white shark was spotted by a man Sunday afternoon at about 3 pm. The 12-foot animal was observed in the shallow waters near the shoreline of a Cape Cod beach. Although the staff from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy arrived in a short notice, they couldn’t do anything to save the white shark which had died shortly before their arrival.
According to executive director Cynthia Wigren, after towing the carcass to a parking lot, scientists concluded that the animal was a male which hadn’t been previously tagged. Based on the estimates, the white shark was more than twenty years old.
Shark expert Gregory Skomal will conduct a full necropsy to find out what caused the animal’s death. It is the first time a shark strands on a Cape Cod beach this year.
Such incidents rarely occur, and they remain a mystery most of the time. Other four great whites have stranded on Cape Cod since 2014 with one in Wellfleet, Harwich, Chatham, and the fourth now in Orleans.
The one in Chatham was a seven-foot specimen which survived and got the name Jameson. Although this phenomenon is strange, it has occurred only on the Cape Cod shorelines until now.
Wigren says that these events are unique and they have never been encountered in any other area of the world. She also underlines that sharks prefer Cape Cod waters because they find here seals, which are their favorite prey.
Seals have almost been hunted to extinction in the 1970s but thanks to the Endangered Species Act, their population recovered over the past three decades.
Although sharks usually start their migration south in early November, some can stay for a longer period. Great whites are mysterious marine mammals which have been monitored over the past few years, as scientists want to discover important patterns of these animals’ migration.
Apart from the fact that they spend several months in Cape Cod waters hunting seals, little is known about great white sharks during the time they spend in the south. Researchers claim that these mammals are probably breeding there.
After the full necropsy, shark experts hope to find out why the 12-foot white shark died in order to prevent other incidents in the future.
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