A male orca which died after it became stranded in the Tauranga Harbour has been attacked by someone trying to steal its teeth.
Moby, who is about 50 years old, was initially found by a local resident who called Department of Conservation.
Tauranga-based Department of Conservation biodiversity ranger, Karl McCarthy says he was buried at an undisclosed location three days later.
“We have recently discovered someone with a knife has tried to take his teeth, which is not only disappointing, but illegal.
“Because Moby was found in a remote location, we do not have any leads to launch an investigation unless someone comes forward with information,” he says.
To protect Moby's remains the location where they are buried is not being disclosed, says Karl.
“It is also a site of cultural significance.”