Friday, March 21, 2008

Monterey Bay released thirde Great White shark into the wilderness

The white shark released back into the wild in early February by the Monterey Bay Aquarium has already traveled past the southern tip of Baja California, aquarium officials announced Thursday. The male shark was released Feb. 5 after spending more than five months on display in the aquarium's Outer Bay exhibit. Before its release, the shark was fitted with a pair of electronic tags.

One of the tags sends a satellite signal with the shark's location every time its dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water. Of the three sharks the aquarium has displayed and released back into the wild since 2005, this one made it to Mexico the fastest by far. "It's remarkable. The shark made it to Cabo in one-third the time it took the second animal to get there.

To travel that far, that fast was totally unexpected. It's another reminder of just how little we know about what these animals do in the wild,'' aquarium Vice President Randy Hamilton said. The shark's movements can be followed on the Internet at by following the "Juvenile White Shark'' link on the Live Data page. "Where will this shark end up? Will it turn north into the Gulf of California? It's anybody's guess. What we're learning adds tremendously to what little is known about the lives of young white sharks,'' Hamilton said.

The shark was seen by more than 650,000 aquarium visitors during its 162 days on exhibit. Aquarium officials are hoping to bring another shark to the aquarium for display later this year. All three of the sharks captured and displayed by the aquarium have survived and thrived after being returned to the wild, according to aquarium officials.


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