There are claims a shark that washed up at an Auckland beach was deliberately pulled out of the water after being caught in a fishing net.
Witnesses told the Herald a group of people repeatedly kicked the large fish before pulling it onto the beach, effectively leaving it to die.
A woman who contacted the newspaper said a family member was at the scene when the incident happened.
"The shark was purposefully caught in a net by a group of men who caught sight of the [shark] some time earlier," she said.
"The men proceeded to pull the shark on to the beach - repeatedly kicked it, damaged its jaw and took photos next to the dying [fish] while laughing."
The woman said when her relative tried to intervene, the men intimidated them and tried to prevent them from helping.
She said as a result of that, police were called immediately.
Another witness reiterated those claims in a post on Facebook, calling the incident as a "pretty sad display" at Orewa Beach.
She said she saw a man pull the shark in after getting it out of a net.
"But then tried to stand over and intimidate anyone trying to save it and asked if anyone had a knife.
"Then after [someone] pulled it into the water, they pulled it back!"
Police confirmed they received reports that a shark had washed up on the beach shortly after 5pm.
"It had attracted a crowd and one of the reports suggested people had been kicking the shark," a spokeswoman said.
"Police attended, but the shark had already died."
She said the Department of Conservation was also called to the scene.