Date: 14 September 2012 Source: Kākāpō Recovery programme
With 13 days left to go before the end of his 6 week season at Maungatautari, bookings for the "Sirocco Experience" sold out last night!
So far around 4,000 people have had the opportunity to see this very special ambassador for Kākāpō Recovery, however requests to participate in the experience are continuing to flow in.
Malcolm Anderson, General Manager of Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust said they knew in advance that people would travel far and wide for the opportunity to see Sirocco, and this has been the reality, with visitors travelling from around New Zealand and Australia solely for that purpose.
He said however that “nothing could have prepared us for the face to face reaction to his presence. Sirocco is indeed totally charming and enigmatic, it is hard to put into words the spell that he casts over everyone that has contact with him.
We have been thrilled at how well things have gone, and knew that Kākāpō Recovery were also happy. However to receive the offer to extend his season last night just blew us all away”.
Kākāpō Recovery programme manager Deidre Vercoe Scott said Maungatautari’s huge commitment to hosting Sirocco had been rewarded with the high level of public engagement and enthusiasm for the tours to see him.
"Our decision to extend Sirocco’s stay in captive display is not made lightly. We have to be confident that it will not have a negative impact on Sirocco’s health or cause stress for him. But for Kākāpō Recovery, where Maungatautari is concerned, it was an easy decision because Sirocco is thriving there – he’s eating well, has put on weight and he’s enjoying interacting with his fans."
The Trust has been delighted at the opportunity to work alongside the Kākāpō Recovery team to display Sirocco and more importantly to highlight the plight of Kākāpō as a critically endangered species.
It is the aspiration of MEIT and Kākāpō Recovery that kākāpō will once again be found on Maungatautari. Sirocco’s visit is the first step in this direction.
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Sirocco munching mānuka
- It’s one of the rarest parrots in the world
- It’s nocturnal
- It’s flightless
- It’s the worlds heaviest parrot
- It’s possibly the oldest living bird
- It has a subsonic mating boom that can travel several kilometres
- It’s critically endangered – around 125 left in the world
Bookings for the Sirocco Experience will now continue to be on offer until 7 October however new bookings (between 27 September and 7 October). These will be live on the Trust website www.maungatrust.org by Monday.
Department of Conservation
Kākāpō Recovery Programme Manager, Deidre Vercoe Scott
Phone: +64 3 211 2481 / +64 27 290 2783
General Manager, Malcolm Anderson
Phone: +64 7 823 7455 / +64 27 294 2132