Warning: This article contains images that some people may find distressing.
A kererū has been found dead from what appears to be a gunshot wound.
The bird was discovered by a member of the public, who alerted the Department of Conservation (DOC) after finding the bird on Park Island, Napier, during the long weekend.
Due to a large hole in the breast of the bird, DoC suspects that the bird was shot. Kererū are protected under the Wildlife Act, and it is an offence to shoot them.
"It is disappointing that this type of random slaughter of protected wildlife occurs," said DoC compliance ranger Rod Hansen.
"It is totally unnecessary and extremely sad, especially as this is the third time this has happened here in Hawke's Bay in as many years."
The kererū has experienced gradual decline since humans arrived in New Zealand due to introduced predators and hunting by humans.
It was a competitor in the 2017 Bird of the Year competition and was officially endorsed by the Green Party before losing to the kea.
DoC is asking any member of the public with information about the shooting, or any similar illegal activity to contact the 24-hour DoC hotline on 0800 362 468.