HALIFAX — Hilton, a celebrity shark whose travels have captivated Nova Scotians, has extended his summer vacation off the province's coast.
The 600-kilogram great white — tagged by the research group Ocearch in March in South Carolina — signalled four times on Thursday that he is still near Lunenburg, N.S.
Hilton first appeared on Nova Scotia's south shore in early August, charming locals with a wry Twitter feed chronicling his movements, but hadn't pinged since Aug. 23.
"*PING* Nova Scotia is still the place to be!" he tweeted Thursday night.
Hilton's final ping Thursday was at 8:52 p.m., slightly farther offshore than he had been. He was headed in the general direction of nearby Halifax Harbour.
"Great to see @HiltonTheShark .... possibly moving closer to #Halifax? #NovaScotia loves this shark!" Alex MacDonald of Dartmouth, N.S., tweeted.
"Glad you're still enjoying all NS has to offer," tweeted Peter Leighton.
The highly visible great white, here to feast on an abundance of seals, has kept some Nova Scotians out of the water, but captivated many others.
His Twitter feed is full of jokes, local food references — seals and donairs — and flirtations with other tagged sharks and even human Nova Scotians.
"Hey Hilton, seafood dinner date at my place tomorrow in Nova Scotia?" Heather Field tweeted.
"You had me at hello," Hilton replied, although she never actually tweeted hello.
"I love it here," the predator told another female Nova Scotia tweeter.
Two other tagged great whites who signalled their presence in the Maritimes in mid-August have also pinged in recent days, but neither surfaced long enough to establish a location.
Savannah, who pinged Aug. 14 off Sherbrooke, N.S., pinged again Monday at 6:36 a.m.
George, who pinged Aug. 9 off Saint John, N.B., in the Bay of Fundy, pinged again at 9:40 p.m. Thursday.
Ocearch has tagged over 300 sharks, almost half of them great white sharks, including about 25 on the east coast of North America, and open-sourced the data on its website and free app.
The Canadian Press