Mystery otterlike mammal or reptile of Australasia,
similar to the Wai toreke.
Etymology: Maori (Austronesian), uncertain;
may mean “very spiny,” may be related to
“swimming” or “ancestors,” or may just be a
Variant name: Frequently misspelled as Kaureke.
Physical description: Otterlike. Whitish fur.
Behavior: Nocturnal. Seemingly less aquatic
than the Waitoreke. Observed when it visits its
watering places. Eats lizards. Lays eggs as large as
Distribution: Arowhenua Bush, South Island,
Possible explanations: An unknown, egglaying
mammal (monotreme) or a spiny lizard
of some kind.