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In Māori mythology, the pouakai or poukai is a monstrous bird.[1] In some of these legends pouakai kill and eat humans. The myth may refer to the real but now extinct Haast's eagle: a bird of massive size and strength, believed to have hunted moa (which could weigh up to 230 kilograms (510 lb)), and which had the capability to possibly kill humans.[2] Haast's eagles did not become extinct until around one hundred years after the arrival of the Māori, and was thought to have become extinct due to overhunting by the Māori, and loss of natural habitat.

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  1. ^ Rodgers, Paul (14 September 2009). "Maori legend of man-eating bird is true". The Independent. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  2. ^ Casey, Michael; Associated Press (14 September 2009). "Extinct New Zealand eagle may have eaten humans". ABC News.