Wednesday 16 June 2010

Hunting the Kawekaweau

A new expedition to look for a previously thought extinct creature in New Zealandhas been reported in the Fortean Times:
Known from just a single stuffed specimen in Marseilles Natural History Museum (thought to have originated in New Zealand but which for well over a century was not recognised as representing a hitherto-undescribed species), Delcourt’s giant gecko Hoplodactylus delcourti (above) is not only the world’s biggest gecko species but also the most mysterious. Its lone specimen bears a remarkable resemblance to a supposedly myth­ical New Zealand reptile known in Maori folklore as the kawekaweau, and strange lizards whose eyewitness descriptions readily recall the latter creature have long been reported from North Island. Consequently, it is exciting to learn that during this year’s Christmas period, New Zealand cryptozoologist Tony Lucas will be visiting North Island’s Rotorua region to investigate claims of a remnant kawekaweau population there, and collect any eyewitness reports. If H. delcourti were to be discovered alive and confirmed to be one and the same as the kawekaweau, this would certainly be one of the greatest cryptozoological success stor­ies of modern times, so we wish Tony all the very best! Tony Lucas, pers. comm., 26 April 2010. Source :

The last  one ever seen alive was said to be by a Māori chief of the Tūhoe tribe who caught one living under the bark of a dead tree in 1870 ,in the forests of Te Urewera National Park. He killed and ate it . It was  described it as being "brownish with reddish stripes and as thick as a man's wrist.
In April 1990 sightings of a large gecko were reported in the  press in New Zealand. These recent sightings were around the Gisborne, the Waipoua Forest and Waoku Plateau.

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