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Maybe The Shark Chasing The Kayaker Wasn’t A Great White

Walter Szulc Jr., in kayak at left, looks back at the dorsal fin of an approaching shark at Nauset Beach in Orleans on Saturday, July 7. (Shelly Negrotti via AP)

Walter Szulc Jr., in kayak at left, looks back at the dorsal fin of an approaching shark at Nauset Beach in Orleans on Saturday, July 7. (Shelly Negrotti via AP)

So it may not have been a feared great white shark, after all.

Over the weekend, kayaker Walter Szulc Jr. had a close encounter with a shark at Nauset Beach in Orleans. The story — and the wonderfully captured photo — have gone viral.

But the shark, which was originally believed to be a great white, may have been a generally harmless, plankton-eating basking shark, a state wildlife expert told multiple outlets Tuesday.

“By all indications, I think it’s a basking shark,” Greg Skomal, of the Division of Marine Fisheries, told the Boston Globe.

Skomal based his assessment on photographs of the shark, and he told the Globe that officials are trying to confirm the species of the shark.

In related news, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette interviewed Shelly Negrotti, the Upton resident who captured the photograph of the close shark encounter, and NECN has a story of what’s believed to be a great white shark attacking a kayaker in Santa Cruz, Calif.

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