Critically Endangered Kakapo, “Sirocco”, settles in for a six-week stay on the Maungatautari Ecological Island
All the trimmings of a celebrity visit
by AARON LEAMAN
t was a momentary glance, a fleeting glimpse, but it was enough to bring Sue Reid to tears.
“I thought I was alright until I saw his face,” a red-eyed Mrs Reid whispered after seeing Sirocco the kakapo at Maungatautari mountain yesterday. “It’s just a totally overwhelming and special moment.”
The affable, flightless parrot earlier arrived in style at Hamilton International Airport. There were all the trimmings of a celebrity visit as eager fans mingled around the airport terminus waiting for a glimpse of the 15-year-old talent as he flew in from his home on Maud Island.
Once at Maungatautari, Sirocco was welcomed onto the mountain with a simple ceremony. Maungatautari Ecological Island Trustco-chairman Karaitiana Tamatea lead a karakia as about 30 onlookers gathered for their first glimpse of the nocturnal parrot. Mr Tamatea said Sirocco’s visit was “like an ancestor coming into our midst”.
Kakapo were once abundant throughout New Zealand but today number only 126…