Find Out Why This Great White Shark Is in the Gulf of Mexico

PHOTO: A scuba diver swims close to a 12-foot great white shark in Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
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The great white shark that made headlines and scared beachgoers as it swam down the Gulf of Mexico toward Texas isn't likely to stay in the warm waters for long.

Scientists tracking the shark known as "Katherine" said she's likely to end up in cooler waters than the ones off Texas' shores.

"We don't know where these sharks are going, that's why we're tracking them," Robert Hueter, director of the center for shark research at Mote Marine Laboratory, told ABC News. "But, if I was to put money on it, I would say that she would ... she's probably going to stay in the eastern Gulf of Mexico."

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Katherine, a 14-foot shark weighing in at 2,300 pounds, was one of a dozen great white sharks tagged last year off the shore of Cape Cod and researchers have been tracking her movements ever since to learn about the breeding practices of the mysterious animals.

Chris Fischer, founder of the non-profit organization Ocearch, which researches great white sharks, told ABC News if Katherine does not return to Cape Cod this summer, it could mean that she is pregnant and will have a "pup" in about a year. Scientists are trying to gather more information about shark breeding to help protect them, he said.

PHOTO: The shark known as Katherine was tagged last year and can now be tracked by any Internet user.
ABC News
PHOTO: The shark known as "Katherine was tagged last year and can now be tracked by any Internet user.

The Ocearch site allows any user, or nervous beachgoer, to check out where the tagged sharks are on their travels. Katherine appeared to want sometime in sunnier waters according to her tracking which found her traveling around the tip of Florida and into the Gulf, however, Hueter is skeptical that she'll head for even warmer waters.

"Unlike some of the reports that keep saying that she's going to Texas, she's shown no indication of that yet," said Hueter.

There are four tagged sharks off the coast of Georgia, one each off the coasts of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, and two off the coast of New York's Montauk.

PHOTO: Pictured is the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker.
ocearch.org
PHOTO: Pictured is the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker.

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