Divers spot 'gentle grandma' white shark off Hawaii coast

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Watch as divers get extremely close to a giant great white shark.

The very big animal, which measures at six meters (20 feet) and 2.5 tons, surprised the divers when it appeared on Tuesday.

Spied feeding on a whale carcass off the coast of Hawaii, the shark known as Deep Blue rose and glided past the excited divers.

Shark populations around Hawaii have been declining for years and Ramsey said she hopes Deep Blue's moment in the spotlight will also shine a light on much-needed shark protection legislation.

"We went out at sunrise, and she stayed with us pretty much throughout the day", Ramsey recalled. Ramsey told The Associated Press on Thursday, Jan. 17 that images of her swimming next to a huge great white shark prove that these top predators should be protected, not feared. She noted her years of experience and research, reminding the shark-petting hopefuls watching the video that great white sharks are apex predators capable of inflicting grave injury.

Jeffries said she never felt threatened by "Deep Blue", who was initially spotted near Hawaii earlier this week. While some were absolutely shocked and scared that someone would voluntarily get so close to the shark, the majority praised the diver for the work she does in protecting the species.

On her LinkedIn page, Ramsey describes herself as a "marine biologist, shark conservationist, ethologist, scuba instructor, owner: WaterInspired.org & OneOceanDiving.com".

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For all the joy the encounter brought her, "it kind of breaks my heart at the same time to be honest", Ramsey said.

Officials say there have been reports that people are climbing onto the carcass to take its teeth as souvenirs, which may be a violation of state and federal laws.

"She then made her way out to the surrounding boats to check them out as well".

They're the photos you just can't stop looking at. The World Wildlife fund now classifies great white sharks are a "vulnerable" species.

What experts believe is one of the largest white sharks in the world - and the largest filmed to date - visited Hawaiian waters this past weekend. "This is sharks' role in the ecosystem, to pick off the dead, dying, weak, wounded, sick, injured, etc there by keeping lower prophic levels healthy and in balance", the researcher explained. "Understandably, some people want to get into the water either out of fascination or to get photographs, but it is truly risky to be around this carcass with so much shark activity", he said.

"So many people out around the world seeing her would think "monster" and want to kill her because of movies like Jaws - people are afraid", Ramsey told Today.

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