A ship has inadvertently dragged the carcass of a Bryde's whale into Tauranga Harbour.
When the container vessel arrived in the Port of Tauranga from Brisbane at 11:30am on Wednesday, the whale was hanging off the bow.
It is not known when the ship encountered the whale, which has since been confirmed dead.
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The Department of Conservation (DoC) says the whale is 14 metres long - about average for a whale of that species.
DoC staff removed the carcass from the ship on Wednesday evening and secured it at a safe location overnight.
"We are now working with Tauranga Moana iwi to arrange for an appropriate location for the carcass to be disposed of," says DoC Tauranga Rotorua area operations manager Jeff Milham.
That will likely occur during full tide today.