Pregnant tiger shark ‘Harry-Etta’ tagged off SC coast

Harry-Etta clocked in at 12'2" weighting 820 lbs. (courtesy SCDNR)

ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) — Biologists working in the St. Helena Sound came across one of the largest predators off of the South Carolina coast — and she’s expecting.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources biologists caught and satellite tagged “Harry-Etta,” a female tiger shark, on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

She clocked in at 12 feet, 2 inches and weighs 820 pounds.

According to SCDNR, Harry-Etta is the 15th tiger shark to be tagged by biologists in South Carolina waters, but the first one known to be pregnant.

SCDNR biologist Bryan Frazier affixes the satellite tag to Harry-Etta’s dorsal fin while College of Charleston’s Gorka Sancho secures her (courtesy SCDNR)

These satellite tags provide real-time data for researchers to gain information on this little-studied species.

SCDNR biologist Bryan Frazier, who leads the agency’s shark-tagging efforts, says they confirmed Harry-Etta was pregnant by ultrasound. Researchers will also be able to study her patterns and habitats that she uses during gestation.

But the tag also gives anyone the opportunity to follow her movements throughout her pregnancy.

Harry-Etta’s path on the OSEARCH Global Shark Tracker

You can visit here to follow Harry-Etta’s journey in real time on the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker. Each time she’s above water for more than 90 seconds, a satellite signal or “ping” will show on the map.

She’s also new to the Twitter world — you can follow her here.

Harry-Etta’s satellite tag is sponsored by The Hampton Wildlife Fund, which works alongside SCDNR to benefit wildlife conservation, education and research efforts in South Carolina.

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