Sirocco, the kakapo whose frisky behaviour propelled him to global stardom, will launch his career as advocate for Kakapo Recovery during the Rugby World Cup.
Sirocco, who developed an international following after his exploits with a BBC cameraman were posted on You-tube.
New Zealand’s most famous bird will set up residence and be ready to receive visitors in Orokonui Ecosanctuary, in Dunedin and ZEALANDIA, in Wellington, during September and October.
Sirocco is one of just 131 kakapo who are under the care of the Kakapo Recovery partnership involving Department of Conservation, Rio Tinto Alcan and Forest and Bird.
Kakapo Recovery Programme manager Deidre Vercoe Scott said the team had been looking at new ways to raise awareness of their work to save the critically endangered and iconic birds.
“Given the small kakapo population is closely managed on offshore islands, it is really difficult to get a first hand appreciation for these unique birds”.
Sirocco was hand-reared alone as a chick and now seeks out human contact, so he provides a great opportunity to allow people to engage with these special parrots.”
Deidre Vercoe Scott said given his international profile, it’s also fitting that he’ll be ready to welcome visitors in time for the Rugby World Cup.
“I’m not really sure how much he loves rugby but Sirocco certainly likes the limelight. On previous occasions he’s entertained visitors at both Auckland Zoo and on Ulva Island and he coped extremely well.
He would be housed in specially-built enclosures set in native-forest sites, allowing visitors to experience kakapo in their natural environment.
“We have strict guidelines in place for his health and welfare, and we are confident Sirocco will thrive with the attention.”