Emerald Bay residents were startled by the appearance of a 4-foot salmon shark, which apparently beached itself at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The shark was initially thought to be a great white, according to Cyndy Hutchinson, who came upon the baby shark while walking on the beach and took some photos of it.
The shark may have been injured or stranded in the area, according to Hutchinson.
"I saw a pink circle on its stomach, so maybe it got hit by a dolphin or was hurt on a rock," she said.
The shark was pulled back into the ocean by a local man and appeared to swim away, but by Wednesday morning it had washed back ashore, dead. A local reportedly took the shark off the beach and placed it on ice, Hutchinson said.
The Ocean Institute was contacted about the shark, she added.
Julianne Fteers, who manages the aquarium program at the Ocean Institute, said the institute had obtained the shark from the man who took it from the beach.
"We have handed it off to Fish and Game for further study," Fteers said.