An organisation studying great white sharks is enjoying some welcome attention after one of the creatures they have been monitoring started gaining a loyal social media following. @MaryLeeShark is the fake Twitter handle for a very real, nearly 3,500-pound (1,590-kilogram) great white whose movements can be tracked online and in real time.

A Great White Shark.

A Great White Shark. Image by Lwp Kommunikáció / CC BY 2.0

She has drawn more than 44,000 followers with her playful updates and witty replies as the real life shark cruises up and down the east coast of America.

The shark, which was tagged off the coast of Cape Cod, is among hundreds of sharks that OCEARCH, a Utah-based organisation, has tagged and tracked since 2007. The fake Twitter handle is not affiliated with OCEARCH but expedition leader Chris Fischer, who named Mary Lee after his mother, said the organisation appreciates the attention the maritime messages have generated.

(Press Association)