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Remember those baby leopard sharks spotted swimming in the Venice canals in February?

Now the adults are also in town.

On April 3, staff at Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium spotted several mature leopard sharks— these about five feet long — swimming close to shore within 10 yards of the pier. The sharks were joined by a few guitarfish, a type of ray with a long tail and muscular snout that is sometimes mistaken for a shark, said Aquarium Operations Manager Jose Bacallao.

“We often see leopard sharks in spring and summer, but rarely this close to shore,” he said.

Just as the canal sharks fled from a flock of ducks, Bacallao said adult leopard sharks pose no danger to swimmers.

“People should be stoked to see them — happy they are part of our environment — and let them be,” he said.

Adult leopard sharks eat crabs, snails and smaller fish and migrate up and down the coast.

The aquarium houses six adult leopard sharks that can be viewed during feedings between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.

— Joe Piasecki

 

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