3,500-pound great white shark pings tracker off North Carolina


A great white shark almost as long as a classic Cadillac turned up off the coast of North Carolina, a few weeks after being tagged near Canada.

The 3,541-pound, 17-foot-long Nukumi was tagged in Nova Scotia on Oct. 2, according to Ocearch, a nonprofit focused on researching sharks and other large ocean animals. Her most recent ping was recorded Thursday off of Cape Hatteras.

The shark already has logged more than 1,800 miles on its meandering journey, and she is currently part of a southern migration with much of the rest of the species’ Atlantic population, according to the nonprofit.

Last week, Ocearch said four other great whites also were spotted near the Outer Banks.

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But none were the size of Nukumi, who is named after a “legendary wise old grandmother figure” among the Mi’kmaq people – an indigenous culture with ties to Nova Scotia.

She’s the largest great white tagged in Ocearch’s current Northwest Atlantic study so far.

The organization recently wrapped up a large-scale expedition in Nova Scotia waters, tagging new sharks and gathering data for 21 separate research projects.

Some of the research could have medical benefits for humans.

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One project will examine the bacteria found in sharks’ mouths to help develop a new treatment for bite victims, according to the nonprofit. Another will research bacteria on great whites that have antibiotic properties, to help mitigate increasing resistance to antibiotics among bacteria on land.

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Great white sharks on the Atlantic Coast spend their time mostly along the continental shelf and around islands between Newfoundland and Florida, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They can grow as large as 21 feet.

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