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Beaches are closed in Chatham after shark attacks a seal

A shark was spotted off the coast of Chatham after it bit a seal around 3:15 p.m. Thursday, town officials said.

Beaches between Lighthouse Beach and Andrew Hardings Lane were cleared of all swimmers, said Dan Tobin, director of parks and recreation in Chatham.

The beaches will remain closed for at least two hours, Tobin said, while officials from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy track and tag the shark.

When a shark is spotted, protocol is to close the beaches in the area for an hour, but Tobin predicted this incident will take longer to clear because the shark attacked another animal and did not immediately leave the scene.

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“It didn’t simply just pass by, it had attacked a seal,” Tobin said. “We’re just making sure it’s not looking for an additional snack.”


Alyssa Meyers can be reached at alyssa.meyers@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ameyers_.