Sirocco’s visit to Auckland Zoo is a team event
Conservation Week is definitely a celebration of the amazing partnerships networking throughout New Zealand to ensure the preservation of NZ’s natural and historic heritage.
‘Get involved …and who knows’ is certainly the mantra of Sirocco the kakapo’s visit to Auckland Zoo, September 14th – 23rd. With a small window of opportunity opening in Sirocco’s busy advocacy calendar before his encounters on Ulva Island Trust the spark of an idea to introduce him to Auckland ignited in DOC National Office. This naturally flowed on to discussions with the DOC Southern Islands Area kakapo team, Auckland Conservancy, Auckland Zoo, Auckland Area and sponsor partners Rio Tinto and Forest and Bird.
A six week flurry of activity followed involving iwi, bio-security, permitting, travel, housing, staffing, programme development and marketing. Auckland Zoo designed and purpose-built 3m x 6m recreation of the Whenua Hou (Codfish Island) night bush environment. Kakapo interpretation was gathered from throughout NZ and displayed along with DVD presentations, zoo keeper and DOC ranger talks about all things kakapo and other NZ endangered species breeding programmes.
With DOC Southern Islands Area kakapo team’s support ranger Jo Ledington travelled with Sirocco to ensure his welfare throughout the programme.
Sirocco has tucked Campbell Live, TVNZ Breakfast, the NZ Herald and the Auckland City Scene firmly under his wing in his staunch advocacy for his species. So far 300 Aucklanders have visited Sirocco each night, with some travellers coming from Wellington, Christchurch and Tauranga to see him.
Zoo staff, DOC staff and energetic zoo volunteers have helped the population of Auckland not only meet this wonderful character but also learn about the recovery of kakapo and the celebration of all things conservation!