This dolphin is decidedly dead, so just put a fire under him and turn Moko into smoko

If Moko has done us a favour, besides being a great attraction for tourists, it has been in bringing a bunch of sad bastards to public attention.

These sad bastards all want a slice of the action when Moko is buried.

Moko the Dolphin will be buried on the island where his body was found, while the town of Whakatane will host a memorial service.

Department of Conservation Tauranga area manager, Andrew Baucke, said yesterday that the animal would be laid to rest on Matakana Island, near Mt Maunganui, where it was found dead last week.

So far, so good.

But Kiwis have a desperate urge to create and become obsessed with the activities of celebrities, and this includes animals (such as Shrek the sheep and more recently, ye gods, Paul the bloody psychic octopus).

Some go further and regard certain creatures as sacred.

Simply burying Moko is not enough for these sad bastards. They demand ceremonies, and so…

DoC also announced its decision to hold a memorial service in Whakatane.

A memorial service for what by now is a heap of bones and rotting blubber?

They’ve gotta be joking.


Not so. This is serious stuff.

The proposal has angered Bill Shortt of Mahia, who first spotted Moko three years ago.

“It’s very upsetting. I’m not a happy chappie. I’m pissed off and so is everyone else. At the end of the day, the decision has a political smell about it.”

Don’t know about a political smell. Much more likely it’s the stench of a rotting carcase.

So what’s the bloody problem, when it comes to disposing of a the carcase of a creature that clearly has carked it and is kaput?

Mr Shortt said he was upset that Whakatane would host a memorial service, as Moko spent “just five months of 38” in that area.

“Gisborne, where he spent four months, doesn’t even get a mention, and Mahia, where he spent 29, isn’t even in the picture.”

Hmm. How far up the Mahia civic food chain does this nonsense extend?

All the way to the top, sunshine. All the way to the top.

The Mahia area’s mayor, Les Probert of Wairoa, said the community where Moko had spent so much time entertaining thousands of visitors had not been appropriately recognised.

“I would have thought it would be natural for the body to come back to Mahia, where there’s the landmark that he’s named after.”

However, Mr Probert appreciated that others had had “a final say” about farewelling Moko, and Mahia residents he had spoken with were “reconciled to it”.

Earlier in the week the Herald was saying Mahia in the Hawkes Bay – where Moko was first spotted – had started making preparations for the bottlenose dolphin’s return.

It was going to cost someone more than a few bucks, because grand plans were under way to pay tribute to the dolphin.

A member of the Mahia Maori committee responsible for dolphins and whales, Wiremu Blake, said he had already gained council permission for a special tomb and sculpture for Moko to be built in front of the fishing clubhouse on Mahia Beach.

“I’ve already organised for a digger and we would do the concrete vault facing the sea, and a memorial stone sculpture in the shape of a dolphin,” Mr Blake said.

“Of course that’s only if they let us have him. We’ll probably go ahead with the memorial sculpture anyway, but we feel he should be brought here because this is his home.”

A committee responsible for dolphins and whales?

Alf wondered how busy it is kept.

The Herald quoted Blake as saying at least five other dolphins were buried in the same area, a place where whales and dolphins were particularly sacred to the people.

Sacred – as Alf understands it – means these creatures have been set apart for the worship of a deity, or are worthy of religious veneration, or have been made or declared holy … that sort of thing.

The bloody missionaries should be sent back in to sort these people out and put them back on the straight and narrow, because the first two of the Ten Commandments are very clear on these matters:

1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.

This being so, and because Alf is keen to stay on good terms with The Almighty, he sees whales and dolphins as (a) creatures that give people a lot of pleasure with their antics when they are doing their thing in the ocean; (b) the stuff of bloody good books, such as Moby Dick; and (c) a generous source of tucker, whale oil, ambergris, and what-have-you.

Moko – by the sound of it – was a bit too rotten to be put to use as a foodstuff, even for pet food. In that case the best thing to do was put a fire under the poor thing and have him incinerated. Preferably in a location where Alf happens to be far up-wind.

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