Image: Jake Osborne | DOC


Sirocco the kākāpō was at Orokonui Ecosanctuary in Dunedin during September 2018. This was his first public appearance since 2014.

If you were not able to meet Sirocco, we encourage you to support him and his fellow kākāpō by heading to our Kākāpo Recovery page where you can learn more about this taonga species, the Kākāpo Recovery Team, sign up for newsletters and even symbolically adopt a kākāpo of your own. 

This was not Sirocco’s first rodeo. He first went on tour in 2011, when he stayed at Orokonui and then moved on to Zealandia in Wellington. In 2012, he was hosted at Maungatautari, (near Hamilton) and then he went back to Zealandia again in 2013 and 2015, and Orokonui in 2013 and 2014.

Sirocco’s story

When Sirocco was a chick, he had a nasty respiratory illness and so was hand-reared by DOC rangers, who he imprinted on. Now he seeks out human company and enjoys spending time in the public. His cheeky nature makes big impact on those who meet him, and his story has helped introduce the world to kākāpō.

Kākāpō are one of New Zealand’s most vulnerable birds – the introduction of predators such as rats, stoats and cats brought kākāpō to the brink of extinction. There were only 50 kākāpō in 1995, when the DOC Kākāpō Recovery Team was established.

Because Kākāpō are so vulnerable to predators, it’s crucial they have Predator Free spaces for them to make their homes. To support the Predator Free movement is to support creating more homes for Sirocco and his kind.

Kākāpō are a taonga species to Ngāi Tahu and a national treasure. Ngāi Tahu have said it’s gratifying to see Sirocco back after two years living in his natural environment. Having Sirocco back on display, sharing himself with the public of Aotearoa, is an opportunity to enhance and share that significance and connection.

Read more about Ngāi Tahu’s work with the Kākāpō Recovery Team: Saving Sirocco

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