A 10-foot long great white shark named Penny recently surfaced in the Gulf of Mexico, her most recent stop on a nearly 5,000-mile journey.
Penny pinged at 12:51 p.m. Monday off the coast of Florida near Sarasota County, according to Ocearch’s shark tracker. The creatures “ping” when their tags break the surface of the water.
The juvenile female, weighing 522 pounds and measuring about 10-feet long, is one of nearly 400 sharks the non-profit has tagged to track their odyssey across the oceans. Hoping to collect data for ocean conservation, the site’s map shows seals, dolphins and turtles zig-zagging across the globe.
More: Sharks might be ferocious predators, but they’re no match for warming oceans, studies say
Great white shark Penny’s path to Florida
According to “Penny’s Travel Log” on Ocearch.org, she was first tagged off of Ocracoke, North Carolina in April. The team named her after a canvas company used by Ocearch, Salty Penny Canvas.
Penny’s pings between April and January show the 4,944-mile journey she has taken. First, she traveled up the East Coast, pinging near Atlantic City, New Jersey and Portland, Maine.
The she ventured into Canadian waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence before seeming to head back south at the end of October.
Between Oct. 29 and Dec. 23, she made it from Nova Scotia to Florida. She rang in the new year somewhere around the Florida Keys, and has been making her way up Florida’s western coast throughout first couple of weeks of 2024.
Other recent shark surfaces pinging on Ocearch
Jekyll, an 8-foot, 8-inch, 395-pound shark, pinged at 8:56 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17, off the coast of South Carolina.
Keji, a 9-foot, 7-inch, 578-pound shark, pinged at 10:50 a.m. Tuesday Jan. 16, several hundred miles off the coast of Florida.
Cabot, a 9-foot, 9-inch, 551-pound shark, pinged at 6:04 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15, off the coast of South Carolina.
Crystal, a 10-foot-long, 460-pound shark, pinged at 11:39 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12, several hundred miles off the coast of Florida.
White sharks join snowbirds coming to Florida
White sharks swim south when the water gets too cold for them and they lack food sources up north, OCEARCH chief scientist Bob Hueter previously told the USA TODAY Network. Most of them tend to hang out away from the beaches in the continental shelf waters, Hueter said.
Like human snowbirds, their migration can stir up trouble.
There are about 100 documented shark attacks around the globe each year and Florida is home to most of them.
While Florida has the most attacks, South Africa has the most shark-related fatalities. Since 1992, there have been 1,234 shark bites worldwide, according to data from floridapanhandle.com, with white sharks credited as the top biters.
While sharks may be widely feared, they play important roles in the ocean’s ecosystem, prompting conservation organizations to issue protections for several shark species.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Penny the great white shark swims nearly 5,000 miles in under a year