Mystery surrounds the discovery of a dead calf in Mount Maunganui.

The calf was found in the water, tied by a cord to Salisbury Wharf.

Tauranga City Council's waste contractor collected the dead calf from the wharf after a member of the public contacted the council call centre about it on Monday evening.

A council spokeswoman said they had referred the case to the SPCA, which is responsible for investigating animal welfare issues.

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Tauranga SPCA inspector Jason Blair said he was aware of the calf find and would be looking into it.

Blair said there was no information at this stage to suggest any animal welfare act offence had occurred.

Blair said he would speak to the council contractor and examine the calf himself.

The police were also notified just before 6pm on Monday evening.

The initial report was of a dead dog at Salisbury Wharf.

A police spokeswoman said the council was advised and the police were not required.