Moko the dolphin off the radar

Moko is still off the radar after leaving the port of Tauranga 11 days ago but one of his biggest fans says the friendly bottlenose dolphin could be having a good time elsewhere.

Bill Shortt, of Mahia in northern Hawke's Bay said that during Moko's 2-1/2 year stay there he was not seen for long periods.

"He made himself scarce quite a few times...obviously something is amusing him, wherever he is."

Mr Shortt said he hoped nothing sinister had happened.

"That dolphin has survived through thick and thin so far. He has gone for longer and had us worried but then he will just reappear out of nowhere."

Dolphin expert Wade Doak has said there was every chance Moko would make his way back to his old hunting grounds.

"I would have a heart attack if he showed up back here," Mr Shortt said.

"Sitting on my porch as the sun went down, watching him play with the buoy in the bay was the best amusement I ever had."

The Department of Conservation said it was interested in any sightings of Moko.

- NZPA

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