Swimming with leopard sharks
LA JOLLA (USA)- Beyond the breakers of La Jolla Shores Beach it is easy to come face to face with sharks. And not just your average type of sharks. Hundreds of leopard sharks come here in the quiet waters, most of them pregnant females.
The leopard sharks come close to shore from June to early December, peaking between August and September, when hundreds congregate along a small stretch of this beach north of San Diego.
The sharks are mostly pregnant females and juveniles are rarely seen, so scientists believe they gather here to help with the gestation process.
Because of a submarine canyon just offshore, the waves at La Jolla Shores tend to be smaller, which keeps the colder water of the deep from mixing with the warmer water of the shallows. With the small waves and warm water, it becomes a perfect place for the cold-blooded leopard sharks to hang out before giving birth someplace else.
Leopard sharks are non-agressive and actually a bit timid, darting away whenever there’s a commotion in the water.
Leopard sharks also have small mouths and teeth — they feed on crustaceans, shrimp and bony fish — so even if they did bite, it wouldn’t cause nearly as much damage as some of the larger fish swimming around.
It’s still the ocean, though, so there’s always the chance larger sharks might come in to feed, but attacks on leopard sharks near La Jolla are almost unheard of.
Where: La Jolla Shores Beach, located north of the city of San Diego, State of California, USA.
When: From June to early December, with peaks between August and September.
Sightings: Leopard sharks
Route: From downtown San Diego, take Intrastate 5 north to the Highway 52/La Jolla Parkway exit. Follow La Jolla Parkway west until it merges with Torrey Pines Road, then go north on La Jolla Shores Drive. Turn left on Calle Frescota, which dead ends into La Jolla Shores Park. There is a public parking lot or you can park on the residential streets above the beach. The prime spot for the sharks is in front of the Marine Room restaurant at La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.
Read more at Huffington Post.