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Moose DNA found in Fiordland

Published: 1:19PM Thursday October 06, 2005 Source: RNZ/TVNZ Interactive

A series of DNA tests done on animal hairs found in Fiordland confirms that they come from a descendant of Canadian moose brought to New Zealand 95 years ago.

A herd of 10 Canadian moose was brought to Fiordland's Supper Cove in 1910 in the hope a herd would develop. But conditions were not ideal and they died off because imported red deer were more competitive and better gatherers of food.

Over the years few moose were ever seen, the last one in 1952.

But, South Otago scientist and moose enthusiast Ken Tustin says he is convinced the moose did not all die. He believes a small pack still exists and he is determined to find them.

The DNA test is the second confirmation in the past few years, but so far Tustin's attempts to film a moose have been fruitless.