May 17, 2015 3:48 PM by News Staff
BOSTON (AP) - Great white shark researchers are enjoying some welcome attention.
One of the sharks being monitored by OCEARCH (OH'-surch) has developed a loyal social media following.
MaryLeeShark is the fake Twitter handle for a very real, 3,500-pound great white tagged off Cape Cod. The playful tweets have drawn over 44,000 Twitter followers.
OCEARCH says the Twitter account isn't affiliated but has helped spotlight their work, which includes tagging sharks with GPS trackers in order to monitor their movements online and in real time.
Researchers say the project will help improve understanding about the endangered predator's behavior and encourage conservation. It's also important along the East Coast where great whites are being spotted with greater frequency.
Twitter fans say the tweets are fun. They also hope the attention helps overcome fear and misconceptions about sharks.
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