A 7-year-old Japanese girl savaged by four dogs in Murupara
this afternoon has been airlifted from Rotorua to Middlemore
The child had been playing in the yard of a property owned by
friends of the family when she was attacked by four
Mastiff-type dogs belonging to the property owner.
The girl was initially airlifted to Rotorua Hospital, but she
was transferred to Middlemore Hospital this evening.
She is still in a critical condition.
Police have completed the scene examination and will
The owners of the dogs are friends of the girl's
family and are cooperating fully with the investigation. The
immediately put to sleep by a vet.
BayTrust rescue helicopter pilot Art Kowalski said the young
girl suffered extensive injuries to the majority of her face
as well as puncture wounds to both arms, legs and hips.
He said the girl did not seem to speak much English and her
father, who was travelling in the helicopter, was translating
Mr Kowalski said the girl might be transferred to either
Waikato or Auckland hospitals shortly because her injuries
were so severe.
St John Ambulance communications team manager Norm Ngatai
said they received a call from the Murupara Medical Centre at
1.30pm today alerting them to the incident.
Those at the house where the attack happened had taken the
girl to the medical centre.
A Rotorua Daily Post reporter, who is at the scene, said the
house is on the main road, about 2km on the eastern outskirts
of the township.
She said two police cars and an ambulance had just left the
house. There were no other bystanders at the scene.
It looked liked a lifestyle property with animals, including
turkeys, ducks and chickens wandering around the yard.
A neighbour did not want to comment.
Staff at the Murupara Medical Centre were also unable to
A Whakatane District Council animal control spokesman said
his team had been alerted to the incident by Murupara police
about 3pm and were sending a team to help.
Police staff at Murupara said they were unable to comment at
It is not the first serious dog attack in the small Bay of
In April 2007, former Murupara St John volunteer Virginia
Ohlson, 56, was fatally injured when two dogs, a pitbull and
staffordshire-cross, attacked her in the street.
She was walking just 200m from her home when two dogs
She suffered multiple bites to her legs and died from trauma
and shock on her way to hospital.