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Lost whale shark tag tracked to Dallas suburb - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Lost whale shark tag tracked to Dallas suburb

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Courtesy WFAA

Does this sound crazy, or what? A scientist who attaches tracking devices to sharks in the ocean says one of his electronic tags wound up in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville. It's full of scientific data and Dr. Alistair Dove needs your help to find it.

He works for the Georgia Aquarium and fixes electronic tags to the backs of graceful whale sharks while they congregate in the Yucatan Peninsula. He's learning a little more about the life of the biggest fish in the ocean.

"You can think of it as essentially being like a phone in a tube with a float on one end. So it has a battery component you can see. It has a solar panel section in the middle which also houses the brain of the tag," Dove said.

While the tag can transmit some data via satellite, the capsule itself is loaded with information about the way the sharks live. And now one of those tags has gone missing.

It doesn't work as precisely as GPS but he thinks it popped loose in the Gulf of Mexico, floated ashore in Galveston.

"Eventually it made a huge and instantaneous jump to the suburbs of Dallas where it's been ever since," said Dove.

He says the signal has moved a few times but always made its way back to this neighborhood near Vickery Elementary in Lewisville. He thinks it might be in a car trunk or boat trailer.

"We really need to get the tag back, connect it to a computer and really download every bit of data that's on the inside," he said.

As the word spreads maybe someone will realize that crazy thing they found on the beach can tell the secrets of graceful whale shark.

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