Large creature found on shore

‘WASHED UP’: Samantha Cooper with the giant teddy bear on Pendarves beach.
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It is something that barely ever happens in Mid Canterbury.

But it has happened twice this month. Large creatures were found on shore – first a rarely sighted species of sunfish at Dorie, then a giant teddy bear a few kilometres south at Pendarves on Saturday.

Australian Samantha Cooper came across the 3m-long teddy bear while walking on the beach with her sister who lives nearby.

The pair were puzzled as they approached.

‘‘I thought is that a seal? Is it alive, is it dead?’’

Getting closer they realised what it was, and thought perhaps it had come from a boat.

‘‘Definitely it had been washed up, because it was drenched,’’ Cooper said.

Environment Canterbury Ashburton zone delivery lead Nikki Jenkins thanked The Ashburton Courier for alerting it ‘‘to this rather sadly discarded item’’.

‘‘Our incident response team will head out and pick up Big Ted,’’ Jenkins said.

The giant teddy bear on Pendarves beach.

‘‘It’s pretty unusual for us to have to clear large items washed up on the beach, and this is definitely the first bear hunt we’ve had to go on.’’

A dead 2m long sunfish was found by Grant MacKinnon and Katy Moore on the beach at Dorie, The Press reported on June 12.

“It was huge, it reminded me of a massive squid,” Moore said. “I had never seen anything like it.”

Auckland Museum sunfish expert Dr Marianne Nyegaard told The Press in her 10 years of studying the species, there were only 60 sightings on record in Australia and New Zealand.

The teddy bear find, while also rare, is unlikely to attract the same scientific attention.

Nevertheless, it is a curious find which has The Ashburton Courier guessing, so if you have any information, please let us know!