Great white shark spot­ted near Hal­i­fax

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton/ Province -

A great white shark has been de­tected near Hal­i­fax — the sec­ond great white spot­ted in Nova Sco­tia in a month — prompt­ing at least some peo­ple to stay out of the wa­ter.

One Twitter user joked it was “a lit­tle too close for com­fort,’’ af­ter a 600-kilo­gram tagged shark named Hil­ton sig­nalled it was in Ma­hone Bay, a tourist town 85 kilo­me­tres from Hal­i­fax on the prov­ince’s south shore.

Hil­ton — tagged by the re­search group Ocearch in Hil­ton Head, S.C., in March — sig­nalled he was in Ma­hone Bay on Sun­day.

“Hil­ton has been trav­el­ling north along the coast of south­ern Nova Sco­tia for the past week and a half,’’ the group said on Face­book Wed­nes­day.

Re­becca South of Ma­hone Bay said she and some friends can­celled their usual Wed­nes­day habit of skurf­ing — rid­ing a surf­board towed be­hind a speed­boat —be­cause it would take them to an open-sea area in which Hil­ton has roamed.

“Of­ten sharks at­tack surf­boards be­cause they mis­take them as seals, and that’s what we’re on. So we’ve just been talk­ing about that and opted not to go,’’ South, owner of Re­becca’s Restau­rant in Ma­hone Bay, said Wed­nes­day.

South said she would still be com­fort­able swim­ming at one of the area’s pop­u­lar beaches, be­cause Hil­ton would be less likely to be there. She ad­mit­ted, though, she has seen the 1975 movie “Jaws,’’ and is aware that sharks do some­times go near shore — “but not as of­ten.’’

In late July, a 300-kilo­gram great white shark af­fec­tion­ately known as Pump­kin was de­tected in Nova Sco­tia’s Mi­nas Basin as she feasted on an abun­dance of seals. In Novem­ber, a 900-kilo­gram great white named Ly­dia — who like Hil­ton has her own Ocearch-man­aged Twitter ac­count — was among two track­ing off Nova Sco­tia.

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