After a karakia in Rotorua this morning by Pouoto Ngaropo, cultural advisor for Ngati Awa, the dolphin carcass believed to be Moko has arrived safely at Massey University in Palmerston North.
The body has been delivered into the hands marine mammal pathologists Wendi Roe and Stuart Hunter who will be performing a necropsy.
Moko is a bottlenose dolphin who delighted Whakatane residents and visitors with his playful antics last summer and caused excitement amongst Tauranga locals when he arrived at Pilot Bay on 3rd June, but had been rarely seen since.
“We know how important and special this dolphin has been to so many people and feel privileged to be able to be a part of his story. We will treat his body with the utmost respect as we work to gather what information we can about the nature of his death” says Wendi.
“The carcass has started to decay and may have been dead for several weeks, so there is a reduced chance of making conclusive findings.”
The necropsy is expected to be completed next week and results will be made available when this has been finished.
The final resting place for Moko’s remains has yet to be determined but discussions amongst iwi representatives have begun and details will be worked through by iwi, DOC staff and community leaders from Wairoa, Gisborne, Whakatane and Tauranga over the next few days.
Details will be made public as they are confirmed.