Two great white sharks paid a visit to the Florida Keys this month, according to tracking data from the nonprofit conservation group Osearch.
The larger of the two is a male Osearch named Hilton, whose electronic satellite tracking tag attached to his dorsal fin pinged at 9:32 p.m. May 9 off the Southernmost City.
Hilton, a 12-foot, 1,326-pound, adult great white, has traveled more than 10,000 miles since Osearch scientists tagged him off Hilton Head, South Carolina, March 3, 2017. According to Osearch's website, Hilton has journeyed as far north as Nova Scotia, south between Key West and Cuba in the Florida Straits and well into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana.
Following not too far behind Hilton is a juvenile female great white named Savannah. Her tag pinged off Key West at 4:42 p.m. May 12.
Savannah was tagged by Osearch off Hilton Head two days after Hilton. Since then, she's traveled around 4,440 miles in the Atlantic and Gulf. Unlike Hilton, Savannah appears to have stayed closer to the coastline of Florida when she visited the Gulf side of the Sunshine State.
Savannah is about nine feet long and weighs 460 pounds.
Osearch scientists tag the sharks by catching them and leading them to a hydraulic platform attached to their research ship. The platform lifts the shark and scientists take samples from the animal while pumping water through its gills and then attach the electronic tag to its dorsal fin.
The platform is lowered into the ocean and the shark swims off.