Residents of the coastal community of Venice, California were shocked to find out that a school of four leopard sharks had somehow found its way into the Venice canals.
Photo: Sheena Duggal
According to local newspaper The Argonaut, the visitors were sighted earlier this month near Grand Canal Court by Sheena Duggal, who snapped some photos and posted them on Twitter. Duggal is a visual effects supervisor by trade, but her pics were confirmed to be the real deal, verified by Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and several other area witnesses. Experts theorize the sharks got inland through tidal gates, and they'll probably return to the ocean by the same route.
“When I saw them I did a double take,” Duggal told the paper. “They were two or three feet long, maybe, swimming in two pairs. I thought they were sharks but I wasn’t sure, so I decided to take some pictures.”
Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium
The danger to the public is pretty low, since leopard sharks are usually not aggressive toward humans... but they're not exactly a tiny species (they can grow up to five feet long in the wild), so folks are getting a little bit uncomfortable about the new guests.
While leopard sharks may not be dangerous, the same can't be said for tiger sharks... but that didn't stop this Australian daredevil from swimming dangerously close to one, and nearly getting chomped in the process!