Beaches on Australia’s east coast will likely remain closed for a record sixth day after repeated sightings of a giant great white shark, The Telegraph reports.
The shark, which is estimated to be 5 metres (16 feet) in length and weigh 1.7 tons (3,750 pounds), is the largest ever seen around Newcastle beaches, the city council said in a statement.
Newcastle is a city about 100 miles north of Sydney.
The shark has been spotted in an area stretching more than 7 miles along the coast, according to AAP.
The animal was first seen on Saturday at Merewether Beach and last seen on Tuesday at Burwood Beach, the website writes.
Sharks don’t generally like to eat people, but attacks do happen.
“It is not safe for board riders to be out in the water, even close to shore, as sharks are known to move into the surf zone, hunting prey between where the surf breaks and the shoreline,” the Newcastle City Council warns.
In an alert, the council said it was unusual for a shark to hang around the same coastal areas for so many days in a row, but did not give an indication why this may be the case.
The AAP suggests that “overcast and warm weather combined with increased marine activity could be responsible for the shark’s prolonged presence.”
The city council is continuing to patrol the waters throughout the day with jet skis, but said they need at least a 24-hour period of no sightings before beaches can be reopened to swimmers.
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