Region of origin: New Zealand

Modern sightings, from the 19th century forward, of the waitoreke contain varied and conflicting descriptions of a heretofore unconfirmed amphibious mammal, including elements of otters, beavers, platypuses and more but all rooted in rumors of an animal native to the area, which is at odds with the held belief that New Zealand has had no indigenous land mammals since it broke off during continental drift. If it is a population of some extant animal, many researchers believe it may be an Asian small-clawed otter or some close relation, but it’s speculated the recorded sightings might simply be some foreign animal brought over by European colonization or possibly a misidentified seal.

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