Surfers and swimmers along California’s Ventura Beaches have found themselves accompanied by baby great white sharks when they enter the water recently, as the young predators are lingering in the region while undertaking a southward migration.
The juvenile white sharks began to make their presence known last month, according to KEYT, as beachgoers reported that they were unusually close to shore. Several surfers even claimed that the white sharks were swimming next to them near the surf break. Last Friday, officials sighted the juvenile sharks and managed to video the predators, according to Ventura Harbor Patrol representative John Higgins.
“It was fascinating to see them. The size ranged from three to six feet at the biggest. Most were at the four foot range, and after the fact, we have had the opportunity to send video to different shark experts, and some said they are actually juveniles and fairly young.”
Though it is common for white sharks to migrate through the region on their way to the warmer waters of Baja, unusually high temperatures have provided them with welcome territory along Ventura. Warm pockets of water close to the beaches are thought to be enticing the sharks nearer to shore than usual.
— Daniel Gennaoui (@DanielGennaoui) March 13, 2015
Between eight to 10 sharks were documented by harbor patrol officers, according to Fox News, and officials noted that the animals weren’t acting aggressively. Chris Lowe, a professor of marine biology at U.C. Irvine, asserted that beachgoers have little to fear from the sharks, as they are in an early stage of development, during which they feed on fish and stingrays. While some beachgoers admitted that the white sharks made them nervous, others claimed that any threat was greatly overblown.
“They (sharks) don’t want people any more than people want them,” one bystander noted.
Earlier this year, a number of baby great white sharks were spotted in New Zealand’s Kaipara Harbor by researchers who were able to tag the young animals. As the Inquisitr previously reported, 11 sharks were documented by researchers over the course of two days, the largest concentration of great whites ever recorded at a single site in the region.
As juveniles, the sharks are still years away from maturity and may live as long as 70 years, according to a recent study. The baby sharks haven’t been spotted since the harbor patrol filmed them last Friday, suggesting that the great whites may have moved on, continuing along their southward route.
[Image via KEYT]