Great white shark tracked for the year has fallen off the radar

Sept. 18, 2012: Scientists lift a great white shark named Mary Lee so it can be tagged off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The shark was tracked south to the Florida coast but as of Thursday, January 31, 2013, was again off Long Island, NY

(AP Photo/OCEARCH, Mike Estabrook)

She is perhaps the most famous shark in America, but Mary Lee has gone silent. After being fitted with a transmitter by the research organization Ocearch back in 2012 off the coast of Cape Cod, Mary Lee gained a legion of loyal followers tracking her ocean travel. (She has nearly 130,000 followers on Twitter.)

However, no ping has been registered since June, reports the Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina. The good news is that this is not necessarily the end of Mary Lee: Chris Fischer of Ocearch, tells that it is more likely the batteries in her transmitter, designed to last five years, have finally given. Fischer hopes to Mary Lee again, but it is OK if that never happens.

“I feel like she’s done so much, it’s hard to ask for anything else,” he says. “For each individual shark, she has to undo more of the damage of the Jaws than a shark in history, and she is the most famous shark in the history.”

Mary Lee was 40 or 50 years old, when first tagged, so Fischer figures she has 20 years of life. Meanwhile, boaters and fishermen are asked to keep an eye out, especially for the coast of South Carolina. The 16-foot shark happened to be a distinctive bite mark in her dorsal fin, raising hopes that they, if they are still swimming around out there, someone is mocking her.

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