By DOC’s Andrea Crawford, Dunedin.
Over 1,000 people met three remarkable kākāpō chicks during a public viewing in Arrowtown near Queenstown recently.
The smiles on people’s faces told it all—pure delight at seeing three kākāpō chicks at Arrowtown’s Athenaeum Hall.
Event sponsor Real Journeys’ Chief Executive, Richard Lauder, observed that the chicks were received like “rock stars” by the local community.
Many people at the ‘Kākāpō Chicks Day Out‘ expressed thanks to DOC, saying they appreciated how special it was to get the chance to see these remarkable, rare and charismatic native birds.
It was great people got to see the chicks and learn about what makes them so special and, of course, raise awareness to assist with their recovery.
Welfare of the chicks was critical, so all steps were taken to ensure they remained healthy and relaxed.
They took all the attention in their stride.
As well as a viewing opportunity, people listened to talks by DOC’s Kākāpō Recovery team, watched an audio-visual display and asked the kākāpō staff plenty of questions.
The event raised about $5,000 for the programme, through gold coin donations, merchandise sales, and through the Kākāpō Adoption Programme.
The chicks will soon be moved to Whenua Hou/Codfish Island where they will spend four weeks in an outdoor pen. They will then be released into the wild and monitored closely for the next year while they are particularly vulnerable to misadventure as they learn about their wild habitat.
Watch the video by Real Journeys:
Do you follow Sirocco the kākāpō on Facebook and Twitter? This charismatic kākāpō is an ambassador for his species and New Zealand’s official Spokesbird for Conservation.