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The moehau is an unknown species of bipedal ape said to inhabit the mountains of New Zealand

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Mammal, Primate, Ape, Unknown pongid


New Zealand cryptid, Polynesian cryptid


Rainforest-dwelling, Mountain-dwelling


Omnivore, Out-of-place, Prints casted, Featured in Native folklore

The Moehau, also called maeroero or rapuwai, is a large unknown pongid inhabiting the rainforests and mountains of New Zealand. It's described as having a human-like body, but taller, ranging 6.5 to 8 ft tall, more robust, with long arms, ape-like facial features and are covered in black hair. Older reports indicate the Moehau is aggressive, although no attacks have been reported since the 20th century. The Māori believe they can make simple tools like hand axes but are incapable of making fire or speech.

One of the earliest, and grizzliest, written encounters was in 1882. Allegedly, a prospector was found dead after venturing into an area notorious for Moehau sightings, with the only remaining piece of him found being his severed head, which was twisted off his body like a bottle cap. In 1963, photographer and painter Jack Blent claimed he heard something making footfalls and breaking twigs and branches in Ruahine State Forest. After waiting a while, he saw the animal making the noises. It was a large auburn-coloured bipedal ape, 8 ft in height staring at him and mumbling incoherently. In a panic, he ran away.

In 1970, six campers fled their camp as a 6.5 ft tall bipedal ape ran at them throwing rocks and screaming. In 1971, a park ranger found a series of large human-like footprints in the snow-covered peaks of Karangehake. In 1994, in the Bay Of Plenty area, a teenager reported that while walking to martial arts practice, she saw an eight-foot-tall male moehau crouching down. As it noticed her, the moehau looked frightened, then yelled and beat its chest like a gorilla, and ran away on two legs.

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