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Orange County Great White Shark in Viral Video ID'd as One Tagged by Researchers

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Last week a Dana Point surfer caught a close-up encounter with a great white shark on video and uploaded it to the web. No doubt, it became a viral hit. Now researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium have identified it as one they tagged to track via satellite.

"We're the only research group tagging that age-class of white sharks," John O'Sullivan told the Orange County Register, noting that tag seen in the video is a remnant of theirs. He said the shark was probably three and a half to four years old and was probably more curious about Chuck Patterson, who was on a paddleboard filming the shark, than seeing him as a meal.

"When they do interact with humans through biting, it's accidental," O'Sullivan said. "But it's very hard to explain that to a victim." Before the shark left, it whipped its tail fin against Peterson's board. “I startled it, it startled me," he said. "It slammed its tail fin on my board and took off. I had a little moment of clarity — if it was a good idea to be out there.”