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Discovery of moa bones

It is not every day you go to work and discover ancient moa bones, but that is exactly what happened to a crew of linemen installing power to a South Canterbury farm.

Just moments into creating the post hole they unearthed moa bones. Realising what they had uncovered, the contract team stopped work and immediately contacted us.

It was an unusual phone call for one of our staff to take - being informed bones had been discovered at a work site is definitely not an everyday occurrence.

About 50 moa bones were carefully removed from the site and transferred to the South Canterbury Museum in Timaru and are now under the care of Natural History Director, Philip Howe.

What we know of the bones is that they are from two individuals, one being a large bush female, and it is likely they got stuck in swamp land.

A sample from the bones was sent to the United States for analysis which will provide valuable information about the birds.