Australian beachgoers are being warned to be on the lookout for a huge great white shark.
According to the Telegraph, the shark is 16 feet long and estimated to weigh 1.6 tons. Nicknamed “Joan of Shark,” the beast is the largest great white shark ever to be electronically tagged in Australia. It was the shark’s electronic tag that alerted residents of Albany, in the south of Western Australia, that the great fish was in the area and they should keep out of the water.
The shark was tagged just last week, an exciting moment that scientists captured in a recently released photo. The image shows the Department of Fisheries tedious task of tagging the huge animal, a process explained by Mark Kleeman in an interview with ACB.net.au.
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"In that photo, the shark is upside down, which induces a state called tonic immobility," Kleeman said. "In a sense, the shark basically goes to sleep, which enables our technical officers to do a small surgical procedure to implant an acoustic tag inside the shark's gut cavity."
After being tagged, the shark was rolled back over to swim away from the vessel. "In this instance, the shark came almost instantaneously back to life … she was quickly released, and she swam off very strongly,” explained Kleeman.
Officials have been tracking the female shark for three weeks. After firing an initial electronic tag into her, the team replaced that first tag with the second tag being fitted into her stomach in the image above. The new tag should allow her to be tracked for at least a decade, says the Telegraph.