Sirocco stars in ‘Last Chance To See’

 —  18/03/2010

Hi everyone,  

I checked my email this afternoon, and I had this message from the big green budgie of love waiting in my inbox. There wasn’t a “Hi Sam, how’s it going?” or anything like that, but this bird is pretty much the head honcho around here (Except for maybe the Director General), so when he says “Skraaaark!” I say “Sure thing”. Take it away Sirocco:  

Sirocco the Spokesbird.

Sirocco as NZ's spokesbird for conservation.

 So, Sunday is a pretty important day for me, and the people of New Zealand.  

At 8.30pm on Prime TV the fantastic programme “Last Chance to See” goes to air with yours truly in the starring role!  Never mind about the programme’s humans – Mark Carwardine and Stephen Fry – they’re just part of the scenery.  The only thing that matters is my appearance which will be the talk of the country 🙂  This episode is the one that launched my international stardom as the big green budgie of love, thanks to Stephen’s comments about Mark being “shagged by a rare parrot”.  Of course it’s much more than sex – there’s love, drama and intrigue, there’s laughter and there are tears.  Don’t worry, it’s not X-rated material, I’m just doing what comes natural to birds and bees all over the world, only I might have chosen the wrong target for my affections!!  But then for me life has always been more interesting with humans than with my fellow kakapo.   

Sirocco in Last Chance To See.

Sirocco in Last Chance To See

Filming took place early last year and I’m really looking forward to seeing the programme. Not only was the series extremely popular in the UK, it has an interesting history too. Just over 20 years ago, zoologist Mark Carwardine teamed up with the late Douglas Adams (author of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy) and together they embarked on a groundbreaking expedition, travelling the globe in search of some of the world’s most endangered animals. Nearly nine years since Douglas passed away, Mark teamed up with one of his closest friends – actor and comedian, Stephen Fry – to see how these animals fared during this period.  

Sometimes it’s bad news. Mark and Stephen couldn’t find a Manatee in the Amazon. But when they headed off to to Madagascar in search of the mysterious nocturnal Aye-aye, a lemur so ugly, which according to local legend is said to bring death to those who encounter it, they managed to see at least three individuals alive and well which means there’s a tiny bit of hope left for the species. Last week Stephen and Mark travelled to the Malay Archipeligo on their way to the Indonesian island of Komodo where they saw Komodo Dragons. I think I’d be a canapé for those dragons, they’re big, they’re mean and they’re hungry. 

This week they’re in stunning Fiordland looking for beautiful me! And they wont be disappointed 🙂 Thanks to the dedication and endless hard work of volunteers and DOC rangers kakapo are one of the success stories of this programme. When Mark and Douglas Adams filmed the first series 20 years ago there would have been less than 50 kakapo left in the world. We were a species teetering on the edge of extinction. Now there are 123 of my kind and while that doesn’t mean our future is secure, it does mean that we stand a better chance of survival. The hard work isn’t over yet, but the kakapo recovery programme is doing amazing things for the rarest parrot in the world and hopefully it means the world will never be without glorious, gorgeous, adorable kakapo. 

I hope you enjoy my star turn – don’t forget to tune in to Prime on Sunday at 8.30pm. You can also check out these websites for more information about how awesome I am! 

Lots of skraaaarks to everyone 


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