A Department of Conservation (DOC) competition has gone global with entries coming in from all over the world suggesting names for a takahē chick, hatched at Burwood Bush Takahē Rearing Unit near Te Anau.
The chick and its foster parents, Tumbles and Kawa, are due to be released into the Te Anau Wildlife Park and as part of the build-up to their arrival the local DOC office are running a competition to name the chick.
“We thought the competition would be fun for our local community and be a way for them to get involved with takahe at the Wildlife Park. It's the first time in many years two adult birds at the Wildlife Park will be rearing a chick, so we wanted to make sure people knew about it,” said DOC’s Takahē Programme Manager, Phil Tisch.
However, once it appeared on the DOC website the competition began to attract an international following with entries received not only from Southerners but from all over New Zealand and the rest of the world.
From a preschool in Alberta Canada came the suggestion of ‘Stomp’. “We like the funny NZ birds. Some can’t fly like the Kiwi and some are bad boys like the Kea and this bird would stomp like a dinosaur cause he or she has big feet.” said their entry.
Murchy, Spud, Tudi, Osrick, Merope and Lucia are some of the other suggestions DOC has received from entrants, the latter coming from Sweden and named after St Lucia, the ‘bringer of light’ whose tradition is associated with December 13.
The winning name will be announced when the three takahē arrive at the Te Anau Wildlife Park on 13 December. Their arrival will be celebrated with a ‘chick picnic’ intended to become an annual event on the Fiordland calendar.
“We know how important it is to Te Anau to have takahē at the local wildlife park and its proximity to Burwood Takahē Rearing Unit means we have the added bonus of being able to use the takahē to foster a chick,” said Mr Tisch.