A large shark stranded on Bay View Beach in Napier is likely to have been pushed towards shore by a group of orca.
A police spokesperson said they received a report of a "large shark" on the beach near Lequesne Rd, at the crossroads of Franklin Rd and Dorothy Pl, about 9.20am on Monday.
A member of the public around the same time spotted "dozens of orca playing around" further south, between the Spirit of Napier statue and Awatoto.
Joe Woolcott, a General Curator at National Aquarium in Napier, said the shark may have been "chased up to the beach by orca", but a stranded shark is an "unusual occurrence".
"Orca are known to feed on sharks and stingrays," he said. "A shark escaping that sort of situation, if unfortunate, could end up beached.
"Another possibility is that it may have been left over from someone who had been fishing. It could have got an injury and come up to the beach as a result of that."
Woolcott added: "There is zero worry for the public however. It is very unlikely to cause any problems. It doesn't present any harm to people."
A Department of Conservation (DoC) spokeswoman confirmed that shark is now back in the water.
"We're not sure what kind of shark it was, although the member of the public who reported it said it was approximately 1.5 metres long," she said.