Two dogs seem set for an eighth night trapped on a Mohaka Forest ridge face, apparently content with meat from the pig they were chasing when they disappeared last week.
The dogs' continuing predicament was confirmed by Pan Pac Forest Products forest manager and Kotemaori Volunteer Rural Fire Force chief officer Gerald Haynes and Kotemaori police officer Chad Prentice.
They awaited word from a specialist Wellington-based animal search and rescue team assessing whether a rescue could be safely attempted.
One attempt came to grief when a man who went after the dogs, in a remote area about 15km into the forest from Willow Flat Rd, had to be rescued on Saturday night.
That operation involved local firefighting volunteers and New Zealand Fire and Emergency crews from Napier and Wairoa, police and a St John Ambulance crew.
Braving treacherous conditions — steep, dark and wet — the rescuers hauled the man to safety about 10pm.
The police officer said it wasn't the first time that dogs had fallen in the area and needed to be rescued.
In this case the dogs had chased the pig, followed it into the gorge, and caught the animal.
But having fallen as far as 80 metres down into the gorge they were unable to get back up. Although thought to be uninjured, the dogs were running out of time.
Fire and Emergency NZ is also not unfamiliar with dog rescues from rugged terrain in Hawke's Bay, and last June rescued pet huntaway Slip after it had spent three nights on a narrow ledge on Te Mata Peak, near Havelock North.