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Thousands of Tardy Sharks Finally Arrived in Florida

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More than 10,000 blacktip sharks have finally arrived off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla.—long after they were supposed to show up.

The sharks typically arrive in mid-January, WPTV reports, and their less-than-punctual migration this year might be attributable to El Niño, a climate event that caused an unseasonably warm winter on the East Coast.

“The interesting thing is these sharks are right up against the shoreline. You could stand on the shore and toss a pebble and hit a shark, they’re that close,” said Florida Atlantic University biologist Stephen Kajiura, who studies the sharks’ migration pattern.

But Kajiura said spring breakers don’t have to fear the influx.

“For the most part, these sharks are really skittish, so when you get in the water, they’re going to scatter and go away,” he said.


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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com