TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A huge great white shark pinged off the coast of Florida this week, just before the state is expected to have an influx of spring breakers. The shark, named Maple, pinged southeast of St. George Island, Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday morning, according to OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker.
OCEARCH reported that Maple measured 11 feet, 7 inches long, and weighed in at 1,264 pounds. “Over the past two seasons, Maple has spent much of her winter in the Gulf of Mexico,” OCEARCH explained in a Facebook post.
Maple was named after the maple leaf, one of Canada’s national emblems, according to the organization’s website. The massive great white also has a distinctive wound on the left side of her body. The research team said they believe Maple got the wound from a “recent interaction with another larger white shark.” “It is not uncommon for sharks to show their dominance over a smaller animal of their species by delivering a significant but non-fatal bite,” the website read.
OCEARCH is a global non-profit organization that conducts research on “our ocean’s giants” to collect data for educational and conservation efforts. “Our mission is to accelerate the ocean’s return to balance and abundance through fearless innovations in critical scientific research, education, outreach, and police using unique collaborations of individuals and organizations in the U.S. and abroad,” the organization says. Anyone wanting to track great whites or stay up to date with Maple’s whereabouts can visit the Global Shark Tracker at OCEARCH’s official website.