Meet Mary Lee, Wilmington man behind ‘shnarky’ tweets

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — She’s a 3,500-pound great white swimming in the Atlantic that’s become a social media sensation. But who is the person behind the twitter handle of more than 80,000 followers? A man from Wilmington who started the page for fun.

The man, who wished to stay anonymous, started the twitter page in November 2012 after Osearch tagged her.

“Mary Lee was very social,” he said. “She pinged a lot and so suddenly people were just fascinated by this great white shark moving along their coast.”

At first, Mary Lee had 8,000 followers, but in April when she showed up along the northern Atlantic coast, her followers skyrocketed to more than 80,000. That has made life for Mary Lee very busy.

“You can’t go to restaurants,” he said, jokingly. “You can’t go on dates. Bruce calls me up, you know, Bruce from Jaws and wants to go out sometimes and I just have to put him off.”

The busy life of Mary Lee has also affected his life in Wilmington. He says he spends about four hours a day at least responding to fans.

“We call it shnarky. She’s a shark that’s snarky,” he said. “I think I may be developing a split personality and it gets to be kind of funny.”

But he says he has to be careful how “shnarky” he gets.

“You want to be sarcastic, but you want to be gentle with people because I actually have kids who’s asked their parents to tweet to Mary Lee before they go to bed,” he said.

He also said the recent shark attacks off our coast are nothing to laugh about.

“When someone gets hurt it’s not funny anymore.”

But he says he uses that time to help educate.

“You can replace the fear of sharks with facts about sharks,” he said.

Categories: New Hanover, News

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