(Reuters) – Divers in Hawaii were watching a school of tiger sharks feast on a dead whale on Tuesday when a much bigger fish appeared out of the depths.
A 20-foot-long great white shark, believed to be one of the largest in the world, swam right at the divers then began to check out their boats, said Ocean Ramsey, one of the marine biologists in the water at the time.
The great white in question is named Deep Blue and has been videoed before. In fact, the 50-year-old female has made such a name for herself itself in the world of marine biology she even has her own Twitter account here
“Deep Blue came up and brushed up against the boat, maybe she’s pregnant, maybe she’s itchy?” Ramsey wrote on Instagram. “We spent the entire day with her till the sun went down.”
Ramsey, a shark conservationist, posted pictures and video of the encounter to show great whites are not “mindless monsters.”
“We need sharks and yet, perhaps because of the negative and inaccurate way they are portrayed in mass media many people do not care that they are being killed at a rate of 70,000,000-100,000,000 every year!” she said, criticizing the mass slaughter of the creatures to make shark-fin soup.
The great white is uncommon in Hawaii’s warm waters, but hunger could have driven Deep Blue out of her comfort zone, Ramsey said.
The rotting whale carcass off the coast of Oahu has drawn packs of divers keen to see the sea life it attracts, but state wildlife officials have warned on Facebook for them to stay away lest sharks mistake them for food.
Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by Leslie Adler