The Waitoreke (or Waitoreki, Waitorete) is an otter/beaver-like cryptid said to live in New Zealand. It is usually described as a small otter-like animal that lives in the South Island of New Zealand. There are many theories on the Waitoreke's true identity, such as it being an otter, beaver or pinniped. The Waitoreke is usually described as a small otter-like creature sometimes as big as a cat. It is described as having brownish fur and short legs.
The sightings usually place the creature near or in the water on the South Island of New Zealand. Its fur is described as being short like that of an otter.
Very little physical evidence proving the existence of the Waitoreke exists. Julius von Haast is reported to have obtained a Waitoreke pelt in 1868. The fur was brown, with white spots, and the toes lacked webbing. This is inconclusive evidence; the pelt seems to have resembled a quoll's.
Quolls are sometimes claimed to have been released in New Zealand in 1868. The Common Brushtail Possum was successfully introduced in 1858 and is now a widespread pest, whereas introduction of the Common Ringtail Possum ultimately failed. Both animals are unspotted. "Evidence" for the existence of the Waitoreke is mainly based on sporadic accounts of an "unidentified amphibious animal" in the country's South Island spanning well over 200 years. Some of the more infamous accounts are dubious and/or incongruous - but a significant number of descriptions (particularly from the late 19th century onwards) share a striking similarity to each other and to species known to exist outside New Zealand. The Māori people said that in old times they used to keep waitoreke as pets.
There's a possibility that prehistoric Saint Bathans Mammal that inhabited New Zealand in Miocene is Waitoreke or it's relative. This possibility makes Waitoreke even more unique - because Saint Bathans Mammal was a very primitive one, related to multituberculates.