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Beachgoer films 5-foot shark swimming in surf at North Carolina beach

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. — A terrifying encounter with a shark along the coast of North Carolina was caught on video, WSOC reports.

A beachgoer shot video of the 5-foot-long shark in the surf of Emerald Isle Friday afternoon.

After spending a few minutes in the shallow water, the shark swam back out to sea. The beach, which was recently named the top beach in the state, cleared out shortly after.

Shark sightings along the Carolinas could become a lot more common this summer, according to Duke University researchers. They found that the animals are recolonizing areas they used to live in.

Researchers published the findings in the magazine “Current Biology.”

They’ve seen patterns of animals moving into habitats that were former hunting hot spots, so when more sharks are spotted on the coast, the animals aren’t lost, they’re returning to former ecosystems.