Pet owners have been warned to keep an eye on their animals after the "shocking discovery" of eight poisoned mallard ducks in Auckland.
The ducks were found dead in a public park in Glen Eden, and a subsequent investigation found they had wheat treated with a product called Alphachloralose in their gizzards.
"We are concerned that someone near the Verdale Circle area in Glen Eden, west Auckland, has been careless or perhaps even reckless with a stupefying substance that killed eight mallard ducks," said John Dyer of Fish & Game.
Alphachloralose puts birds in a stupor and all eight ducks had to be euthanised after being taken to the SPCA.
Fish & Game said it was a "shocking discovery" to find the birds.
Dyer said if a pet cat or dog had eaten a poisoned bird the result could be fatal, unless the owners noticed straight away and the animal was taken to a vet.
Anyone who thinks their pet might have ingested such treated wheat should immediately take the animal to a wam, but not hot, place and call a vet without delay for further instructions.
Dyer said he suspected that a pest-control contractor in a nearby industrial area may have poisoned the ducks by mistake while targeting sparrow pests.
Anyone who has any information about the ducks' deaths is asked to contact Fish & Game, the SPCA or Bird Rescue.