23 Apr 2017

Public asked to name rare gecko

9:25 am on 23 April 2017

Naming rights are on the table for a rare native jewelled gecko at Otago Museum.

Jewelled gecko (moko kākāriki)

Jewelled gecko (moko kākāriki) Photo: Flickr / Eric de Leeuw / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The gecko, or moko kākāriki, was one of two taken from the Otago Peninsula and smuggled to Germany three years ago.

They were returned to New Zealand last year, but one died in quarantine at Wellington Zoo.

The survivor cannot be released into the wild because it might have been exposed to unknown biosecurity threats while overseas.

A home has since been found for it at the Otago Museum.

Museum spokesman Sam Botting said the gecko had been popular with visitors and the final piece of his story would be to give him a name.

The gecko could live up to 40 years.

The public has a chance to suggest names by 19 May and the winning name will be announced in June.

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