Friday 09 May 2014 3:11p.m.
By 3 News online staff
A kiwi has been mauled to death by a dog near Wainuiomata, most likely while the bird was looking for a mate.
The Greater Wellington Regional Council is calling the death a tragedy, given Otautahi was of prime breeding age and could have fathered up to 20 chicks in his lifetime.
The bird was released into the Rimutaka Forest Park in July 2012 and was being monitored by volunteer trackers.
Rimutaka Forest Part Trust spokeswoman Melody McLaughlin believes if the dog had been on a leash, the kiwi would not have died.
"Kiwi are synonymous with what makes us New Zealanders, they are resilient birds provided we control introduced predators such as stoat and ferret and man’s best friend, our dogs," she says.