Great White announces arrival in Canadian waters via Tweet
Tuesday, August 15, 2017, 9:00 PM - As far as guests in Canadian waters go, the great white known as Hilton is a considerate one: Not only did he let us know he was in the neighbourhood, he's cheerfully kept us updated on his progress.
The three-metre-long great white shark, captured and tagged earlier this year by conservation and research group Ocearch, arrived in Nova Scotia waters not far from Mahone Bay on the south shore, prompting a buzz among Maritimers looking to catch some waves as the summer wears on.
Hilton does, in fact, have a Twitter feed, as do other sharks tracked by the program, including one known as Lydia who plied Canadian waters back in November. It was used to announce his presence last week, and to let us know late Monday night that he was even closer to the shores of Nova Scotia.
As it happens, last week Hilton tweeted at another shark, Savannah, that was considerably further away. Since then, however, Savannah seems to have changed course, and was now just off the Nova Scotia coast, through further to the east than Hilton.
Hilton and Savannah are just two of the dozens of sharks monitored by Ocearch. And in fact, though Hilton has made it into media coverage this time around, Ocearch's live-tracking notes a third shark, George, was last pinged last week, not far south of Saint John in the Bay of Fundy.
The sharks' presence has prompted some wariness among beachgoers in Nova Scotia since word got out, but despite portrayals in popular media, shark attacks on humans are very rare worldwide, and not all of those are unprovoked.
The International Shark Attack File, compiled by the Florida Museum of Natural History, lists 154 cases of shark attacks on humans in 2016, of which 84 were unprovoked. Only four of those resulted in fatalities: Two in Australia, and two in the French Pacific Ocean territory of New Caledonia.