8th July 2010
The body of Moko, the fun-loving and friendly dolphin that captured the hearts of New Zealanders, was discovered today on Matakana Island off Tauranga.
Speaking on behalf of Project Jonah, Kimberly Muncaster says "We're all devastated. It's news we had hoped not to hear."
Tributes to Moko have been flooding in as people try to come to terms with the loss. "Losing an animal you love can be just as hard as losing a family member or friend. We believe that the sense of grief people feel is just as real" says Kimberly.
Moko's body will be sent to Massey University in Palmerston North for a necropsy to try and determine cause of death.
“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 marine mammal pathologist Wendi Roe.
Moko, the young bottlenose dolphin first turned up in 2007 at Mahia Beach in Hawke's Bay and fast became New Zealand's favourite dolphin.