A cow that became stranded on a seaside cliff face is now safely back with its owner.

"I looked out my window and saw it strolling past on its way home," said a local who had been concerned about the animal's welfare.

It is believed that the Friesian cow made its way through a fenceline above Mowhanau Beach before becoming stranded on a ledge part-way down the cliff.

The animal had been there for about 24 hours when the Chronicle visited the beach at 11am on Friday.

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Locals were concerned that the incoming tide would see the animal stranded for another night but the owner turned up with his dogs a couple of hours later and managed to herd the cow down the cliff.

"It must be a very relaxed cow," said the local woman.

"It was just ambling along as if it hadn't just spent 24 hours on the side of a cliff."

Whanganui vet David Rankin said the cow would have been none the worse for its ordeal because ruminants can store food in their chambered stomachs.

"It would probably have had a fair bit of roughage in its stomach and that would have kept it warm. Cows are very resilient animals and farmers know that."

A Mowhanau resident who was concerned about the animal said her main concern was that the cow would lose its footing and fall down the cliff.

"I'm just really pleased that there has been a happy ending to this story," she said.