A killer great white shark was released back into the wild Thursday -- under supervision.
Scientists have fitted the shark with an electronic data tag to monitor her movements for the next month or longer.
The shark was accidentally caught by a halibut fisherman last September and was brought to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to be studied and placed on public exhibit. Her 198-day stay in the aquarium marked the longest time a great white has ever survived captivity - no other shark had lived past 16 days.
Back in February she attacked two of the soupfin sharks that shared her tank. Each died as a result of their injuries. Plans to release her back into the waters south of Monterey Bay were put into motion shortly after the attacks.
Meanwhile, the shark had grown to 6-feet-4-inches and 162 pounds - a size at which biologists were worried they would have a difficult time handling her safely out of the water if they waited any longer.
Marine biologists at the aquarium learned a great deal about caring for a great white in captivity, aquarium officials said. Now, with the help of the electronic tag, they hope to learn about her habitat preferences in the wild.
Tagging the shark will add to data gathered during an ongoing study on the behavior of great white sharks. Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium started the study in 2002 and have so far placed tracking tags on about half a dozen sharks.
They hope to use the findings from this study to help manage and conserve the global population of great white sharks. Many great whites are illegally killed for use in fancy foods. The World Wildlife Fun considers them to be among the top 10 "most wanted" species in the international market.
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