California beaches to reopen after shark sighting

The Seacliff and New Brighton state beaches are set to re-open today, August 15. The beaches have been closed since Tuesday, August 11, after a shark was sighted feeding on a porpoise carcass off Seacliff beach, according to MercuryNews.com.

Photo of young female great white shark taken by George Probst
Younger great white sharks may feed on dead mammals as their diet transitions from fish to pinnipeds.

The decision was made to re-open the beaches, since no sharks have been sighted in the area since the initial sighting on Tuesday. Local veterinarian, Dave Casper, of the Long Marine Laboratory in Santa Cruz, said that the bites on the porpoise were about 10 inches (25 cm) across. Casper believes that the bites were likely made by a 10-12 foot (3-3.5 m) great white shark, and that the event was a “natural occurrence.” Casper said that white sharks often feed on the carcasses of marine animals as they shift from a diet of fish at a young age to a diet of sea lions and other larger prey items as adults.

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