It was a little bit of a dream come true, really. Ever since I was a little girl I really loved native birds and one species in particular, the kakapo. Tonight I got to meet the most famous kakapo in the world (and one of only 129 in existence).
After his infamous mating with someone's head on the BBC he's now a household name. Luckily for us Wellingtonians, he's hanging out at Zealandia for a couple of weeks giving people like me an opportunity to see a bird that is incredibly rare and confined to offshore islands.
He's such a handsome chappy. A hungry one too - he spent the first 10 minutes with his head in the feeding box stuffing his face with special kakapo pellets. After that he hopped on the scales with a promise of macadamia nuts before climbing up onto his handler's shoulder to eat grapes off her head. What a cutie!
I took a couple of photos but they aren't very good due to not being able to use a flash and the cheeky parrot moving every line I lined up a shot. I gave up pretty quickly preferring to just watch him as you never know, this might have been the only chance in my life I get to see one. Hopefully that's not the case though!
And I couldn't help myself...I might have come home with a little kakapo too.
He was only $5. Seeing Sirocco cost $40. I also joined up to Zealandia for a year as seeing Sirocco gave you a 25% discount so it was only $39 (just one entry to the park and visitor centre costs $29 so even if I only go a handful of times, it was money well spent). I'm hoping to make going for a walk around the sanctuary a monthly habit as not only is the scenery lovely, it's a fun way to get exercise, there's a lot of wildlife to see and it's only 10 minutes from the CBD. It's easy to forget what gems we have right on our doorstep.
P.S I also heard both a male and female kiwi calling tonight. The bird geek inside me was very happy!