A wild pig population boom is worrying the Māori guardians of Northland's Waipoua forest - home of Tāne Mahuta and other giant kauri.
Scientists warned this week the pigs are spreading the fatal disease kauri dieback, that's creeping closer to the ancient trees.
The manager of the Te Roroa Trust, Snow Tane, said the animals had a spectacular breeding season last summer.
He said he recently encountered two large pigs on a road near the forest and neither was at all bothered by his presence.
Another Te Roroa man, working on DOC's track upgrades in the forest, told RNZ that pigs have been turning up early in the morning at the work sites.
He said it was possible they were looking for food scraps which they had come to associate with humans.
About 200,000 people a year visit the kauri forest.