July 26, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Animal of the Week: The Kākāpō

The kākāpō—New Zealand’s flightless, heaviest, and nocturnal parrot—is one of a kind. Well, more like 122 of a kind, as that’s the total number of birds left on the planet. Kākāpō are easy prey for animals such as stoats and cats, and despite a great deal of encouragement from the Department of Conservation and Forest & Bird (though that’s a turn-off, if there ever was one), they’ve been reproducing reluctantly. The bid to save the bird recently reached a head—quite literally—with Last Chance to See, a BBC documentary hosted by media dandy Stephen Fry and naturalist Mark Carwardine. During the pair’s visit to Codfish Island, a rather excitable kākāpō named Sirocco took it upon himself to attempt to mate with Carwardine’s head. “Look, he’s so happy!” exclaimed Fry with glee as Sirocco dug his claws into Carwardine’s scalp, pumping his wings lustily. “You are being shagged by a rare parrot!” As a YouTube user wittily commented, “No wonder why these parrots are rare. Reproduction: ur doin it wrong!” [sic] Certainly, the future of the species relies on full-grown males such as Sirocco approaching female kākāpō with as much gusto as he did Carwardine.

Email suggestions for an upcoming Animal of the Week to elle@salient.org.nz.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Elle started out at Salient reviewing music. In 2010, she wrote features and Animal of The Week, which an informal poll revealed to be 40% of Victoria students' favourite part of the magazine. Alongside Uther Dean, she was co-editor for 2011. In 2012, she is chief features writer.

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. Wellington
  2. “Bet the next Salient is going to milk this dry”
  3. How to Find Love in Wellington
  4. On Violence
  5. Salient’s New Zealander of the Year
  6. The Jet Plane, the Typewriter and the Art Dealer
  7. We Drank With Grant Robertson So You Wouldn’t Have To
  8. Wellington’s Coffee Scene: Low Budgement Day
  9. The Cocktail Diaries
  10. We’re really sorry that the last week of news is so depressing
Kowloon

Editor's Pick

In the Shadow of the Kowloon Walled City

: At its peak, the Kowloon Walled City was home to 33,000 people in just two hectares of land—a hastily put together conglomerate of tiny apartments, one of top of the other, caged balconies slapped onto the sides and connected through a labyrinth of damp, dark corridors.