A 350kg turtle, which was found dead on a Canterbury beach last year, has been returned to its hapū.
Last year, the leatherback turtle was returned to Te Rūnanga o Koukourarata and last week a burial ceremony was held on Horomaka Island.
The critically endangered leatherback turtle, or honu, washed up dead in Banks Peninsula in March 2019.
It was initially transported to Te Papa in Wellington. But after consultations with DOC and Koukourārata rūnanga it was returned.
Documents show more than $12,000 was spent by DOC and Te Papa on transportation and a burial ceremony.
Te Papa wanted it for research purposes. the plan had been to keep its skeleton to help identify fossil bones. It would also potentially display it.