New Zealand man goes swimming, finds footprints of extinct mega-bird (photos)

“I was just going for a casual swim, so it’s escalated a bit”

A New Zealand man has discovered footprints belonging to an ancient, long-gone bird at a local swimming hole.

Michael Johnson, a resident of Kyeburn on New Zealand’s South Island, was walking his dogs along the Kyeburn River (“a ripper spot during the summer,” he told TVNZ) when he spotted a path of enormous tracks beneath the water.

They were left by an extinct moa, a huge, flightless bird that roamed New Zealand until roughly 1445 when it succumbed to overhunting.

Sensing their significance, Johnson sent photos of the prints to Otago Museum on Facebook Messenger, according to TVNZ. The museum excavated the tracks this week, and plans to display them.

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