A specialist stoat-sniffing dog sent to Kapiti Island has broken its leg in a fall, hampering efforts to track down a suspected predator in the bird sanctuary.
Crete, a border terrier/fox terrier cross, and handler Scott Theobold were sent to Kapiti Island to find a stoat spotted by a contractor working for the Department of Conservation.
DoC Kapiti Wellington area manager Rob Stone says Crete took a tumble off a bluff on Tuesday.
However, before the accident, the dog found some faecal matter that may have been from a stoat, and a dead kakariki/parakeet which had been partly-eaten.
DoC is trying to find another stoat-detector dog to finish the job.