Hunt underway for ‘shark’ on uni campus

A desperate hunt is underway for a ‘shark’ seen on tracking maps roaming the grounds of a Sydney university, with multiple groups determined to find it.

A manhunt is underway for a ‘shark’ roaming the grounds of the University of Wollongong, and even sleeping in one of its dorm rooms.

Desperate shark researchers have zeroed in on the campus after a satellite tag used to track a 1.95m bull shark for four months showed high activity in the buildings.

Fish Thinkers Research said the tag had recently detached off the Illawarra coast and was been picked up on a nearby beach.

On Friday morning, the tag had been tracked to the university’s library.

“Someone probably picked it up and either has no idea what it is or has forgotten it is in their bag,” the group said in a social media post.

“(They probably) don’t realise they are now being tracked.

“Time to hand in the tag … There will be some very happy researchers and you will have a good story!”

The University has also gotten involved, with a letter sent to students residing in campus accommodation, asking it be immediately returned to the front office.

Students are also now helping smoke out the tagged student, with posts on the uni’s Buy and Sell Facebook page providing updated locations and “narrowing in” on the suspect.

The Department of Primary Industries said the shark had been tracked for 120 days, and urged Wollongong and Shellharbour residents to help locate the tag.

Director of Fisheries Research, Dr Natalie Moltschaniwskyj said the pop-off satellite tag was tagged onto a 1.95m male bull shark in Evans Head on January 22, 2021.

“The tag successfully popped off the shark and washed ashore on Wednesday morning,” she said.

“The person hasn’t done anything wrong, but we are very keen to get the tag back as it contains crucial information about the shark such as where it has been, its swimming depth and feeding behaviour.

“These tags are a great way to get a treasure trove of information without needing to catch the shark again.”

Dr Moltschaniwskyj said the research formed part of the NSW Shark Management Strategy which was designed to keep people safe in the water.

“If you have it, or know someone who has it – we are keen for you to get in touch,” she said.

“The tag only has a week left of battery so we are very keen to get the tag back before we lose track of it.”

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