Great White Sharks Return to Bay Area
Californian’s are a strange lot, no doubt, but neither earthquakes nor floods nor swine flu nor collapsing bridges bring us to our knees. And that goes for sharks too. We’re a hardy bunch here in the Bay Area and we treat recent reports of great whites poking around the Golden Gate Bridge like water off a duck’s (shark’s?) back.
Stanford University Tags Great White Sharks
Around ten years ago, researchers at Stanford University and UC Davis started tagging 179 white sharks to watch their migration from Hawaii to California to the shores of Montezuma.
Apparently the little critters–well, actually they grow up to to 15 feet long, weighing 4,000 pounds–have never been known to attack seals, sea lions, other animals in the Bay or human flesh. That’s contrary to the movies, of course, but who wants to see a movie about tame white sharks. Let’s see those teeth, guys.
Great White Sharks Give Us Hope
As I thought about the great whites swimming around the Golden Gate, I couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed. Come on, we finally patched the Bay Bridge. It shouldn’t collapse for at least a few more years. The California economy is a little bit improved but struggling. They’re lots of Herbert Hoover’s in Washington crying out: “Prosperity is just around the corner.”
Despite improvements in unemployment and the artichoke harvest, California is still basically broke. Voters and politicians gave legislators carte blanche credit cards. We’re running out of water and paying over $4 for gas. (Major refineries have cut back on gasoline production. How curious? And now great white sharks have the audacity to enter our bay and take their time admiring the Golden Gate.
I think the great whites are a symbol of hope and despair, greatness and weakness, joy and sorrow. I think they came to help us out in our times of woe. There’s something magnificent about creatures that rule the seas without putting themselves in harm’s way. Our leaders in California and Washington might learn from the great whites how to be powerful, yet graceful, watchful but not paranoid, navigators, not invaders…and thrifty spenders of taxpayer money.
Perhaps the great whites remind us that despite wars, famine, hatred and mistrust, there’s still hope for a species that thinks itself superior to all others.
I’m glad the great whites came–for a visit–as long as they don’t stay too long.