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New Zealand's Waitoreke or Maori Otter

Listed under Monster Hunting in South Island, New Zealand.

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There are no native land mammals except bats on the islands of New Zealand - that is unless you believe in the small otter-esque, bill-less platypus or beaver like creatures called Waitoreke. Are Waitoreke native mammals who date from the period when New Zealand was part of Gondwanaland and have become extinct? An introduced species brought in by European settlers or is it a case of mistaken identity and people saw otters of beavers?

New Zealand is home to some of the world's most unusual looking animals and Waitorekes feature in stories told by New Zealand’s original Maori inhabitants so many cryptozoologists (scientists who study animals that may or may not be real) believe Waitorekes are out there.

The most convincing evidence of the existence of Waitorteke is a pelt with short brown waterproof fur, dark skin and white spots, which believers claim is that of a Waitoreke. Sceptics say the pelts lack of toe webbing proves it’s that of a large quoll which had been stretched and reshaped because no water dwelling mammal has separated toes. However tracks have been found that are much closer to what a Waitoreke would make.

While Waitoreke sightings and track discoveries from eminent pre 20th Century explorers like Captain Cook give weight to believers theories, most later reports are unsettlingly similar to each other and have discredited the earlier more scholarly studies. The lack of Waitoreke fossil evidence also discredits believers - if they are or were real and have become extinct where is the evidence to prove it?

Waitoreke are a popular species to hunt, a lot of people believe there is something credible out there to find and much of New Zealand remains under explored.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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