Date: 08 July 2010
Department of Conservation (DOC) staff say that a dolphin carcass washed up on Matakana Island yesterday afternoon is probably Moko the bottlenose dolphin.
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 has been rarely seen since.
“Based on the size, markings and teeth of the carcass, we think that this is Moko” says DOC Ranger Jamie Quirk whom has worked with Moko since he turned up on the Mahia Peninsula coastline in 2007.
DOC Tauranga Area Manager, Andrew Baucke said that Moko was a wild animal and his death could have been caused by any number of factors; “We’ll be taking steps to identify the cause of death and dispose of the body appropriately.”
“This is a sad loss. The way that Moko interacted with people really inspired public interest and care for dolphins and marine mammals and their environment in general. I’m sure that those who got to see and swim with him will treasure those memories” says Mr Baucke.