A shark which swam from New Zealand to Fiji has returned home for Christmas and is now believed to be in Hawke's Bay waters.
"Carol", the mako shark, is rounding off an 11,000km odyssey and amazing the scientists who tracked her journey.
In May, she became the first mako shark in New Zealand waters to be tracked with a satellite "spot" tag, under a Niwa research project funded by the Ministry of Primary Industries and Nova-Southeastern University in Florida.
Scientists watched as she set off for the Pacific Islands, only to change her mind halfway and turn back for a two-month stay near Ninety Mile Beach.
After a loop around the top of the North Island, the shark again set off for Fiji, reaching her destination in September.
It was what she did next - returning to New Zealand and arriving home only 100km from the spot where she was tagged - that most surprised scientists.
In seven months, the 1.8m shark clocked up more than 11,300km, covering up to 100km a day.
This month, she cruised around the East Cape and was tracked near Mahia a few days ago, probably bound for Napier.
"This shark did some surprising things," Niwa principal scientist Malcolm Francis said.
"First she headed off toward Fiji, which was kind of what we expected, then she turned around and came back again, which was totally unexpected."
When she reached Fiji, it was thought she would stay there for winter.
With a sample of only one, researchers could draw few conclusions but Carol's adventure has changed assumptions about mako behaviour. "We used to think they disappeared from our waters during autumn, winter and spring and headed off to the tropics," Dr Francis said. APN News & Media