Ironbound, the 12-foot, 4-inch shark weighing nearly 1,000 pounds, made headlines after migrating from the Carolinas up the coast to New Jersey late last month.
As of Monday, it appears the great white returned to the Carolinas, according to OCEARCH shark researchers who keep track of sharks’ migratory patterns via a tag tracking system.
Researchers believe a white shark mating site is located off the Carolinas, the Boston Herald reported.
OCEARCH Chief Scientist Robert Hueter told the outlet last week that Ironbound may have left the site early ahead of the other sharks, adding that is unclear what sparked the migration.
Despite Ironbound’s apparent return to southern waters, New Jersey may not have seen the last of the great white.
Hueter said that the sharks will usually start migrating to northern waters in mid-to-late May and arrive in those areas beginning in June.
Ironbound is considered the “leader of the pack,” according to Hueter, who described the apex predator as “formidable” and “not the prettiest animal.”
Ironbound was first tagged in October 2019 near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. His name is derived from the nearby West Ironbound Island.
Since being tagged, researchers have tracked Ironbound’s travels from as far north as the North Atlantic near Nova Scotia and down into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.