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Great white shark Mary Lee returns to Virginia coast ahead of holiday weekend

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CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — Thanks to scientists with OCEARCH, it’s easy to keep tabs on the great white sharks swimming offshore of Virginia and North Carolina.

Yep, “sharks” as in plural. Not only is Mary Lee, a 3,500-pound shark, back, but she is one of three different great whites who have pinged offshore of our beloved vacation spots. OCEARCH captures and tags the shark, and the approximate locations are posted online.

At 12:40 p.m. Monday Mary Lee pinged off the coast of Virginia, just due east of Wallops Island.

She’s been described as having a “biting wit;” which must explain how her Twitter followers at almost 60,000 have well surpassed that of many a news organization.

ocearch pic mary leeHer OCEARCH profile explains her namesake: Mary Lee was named after OCEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer’s mother.

“My parents have done so much. I was waiting and waiting for a special shark to name after her and this is truly the most historic and legendary fish I have ever been a part of and it set the tone for Cape Cod,” Fischer said.

Mary Lee has traveled over 20,161 miles since she was first tagged off of Cape Cod in 2012.  Earlier in May she was quite active off the coast off Chincoteague and Assateague Islands.

Hopefully, she won’t be around during the famous pony swim.

Katharine and Genie were also recently in Virginia and the Outer Banks, back in April, but have since moved on. Katharine is off the coast of Florida, currently, and Genie is up north.

You can track the path of these sharks, along with others, at this link: http://www.ocearch.org/#SharkTracker

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