Great white Mary Lee goes deep

AP Photo/OCEARCH, Mike Estabrook This Sept. 18, 2012, photo provided by OCEARCH shows scientists lifting a great white shark named Mary Lee so it can be tagged off Cape Cod, Mass.

Mary Lee is back out to sea. The satellite tag on the great white shark pinged early Thursday some 25 miles east of Hunting Island, near Beaufort. On Wednesday, she was well up the Coosaw River delta in St. Helena Sound.

The two-ton alpha predator has become the darling of the East Coast since she was tagged off Cape Cod, Mass., in September 2012, then turned up just past the breakers at Isle of Palms two months later. Media attention of her near-shore arrival spurred a popular interest in the shark and her whereabouts.

In the past year she has foraged nearly all of the East Coast and deep ocean as far as Bermuda, with thousands of people tracking her at the Ocearch website.

Researchers speculate she might now be pregnant.

Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744, @bopete on twitter or Bo Petersen Reporting on Facebook.

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