New Zealand’s only certified hedgehog detection dog hits the beat – Christchurch Press

One new graduate, the first of his kind in more than a decade, is on the beat this summer – and he will be hoping for a spiky reception in his new job.

By Keiller MacDuff, Christchurch Press


A mixed breed, eager-to-please conservation dog has become New Zealand’s only certified hedgehog detection dog after passing his final certification exam in Christchurch.


Dubbed Professor Zachariah Q Wigglebottom for his habit of going into an exuberant body wiggle when he finds his prey – Zach to his friends – the 3-year-old is the first dog in 12 years to gain the qualification as part of the Department of Conservation’s conservation dogs programme.


Zach and handler Adriana Theobald will work in the vast Te Manahuna Aoraki conservation area, an ambitious project encompassing 310,000ha within Te Manahuna/the upper Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, including mountain ranges, Lake Pūkaki, Lake Tekapo and the area’s rivers.