This weekend, not the Friday prior to this weekend.
The kakapo is one of New Zealand’s unique ‘treasures’ and with only 124 known surviving birds it is listed internationally as a critically endangered species.
With so few kakapo remaining, they all need special attention which is provided by the Department of Conservation (DOC) who work to save them from extinction. They have moved all kakapo to New Zealand's off-shore islands, where there are no predators - like possums, rats and stoats.
It is the rarest parrot in the world. It’s flightless, nocturnal, it’s the world’s heaviest parrot, it's possibly the oldest living bird and it has a subsonic mating boom that can travel several kilometres, just to name a few things!
As a result, staff realised he is unlikely to be an effective breeding bird, but decided he had a future as an extremely good advocate for his species; and can provide a great opportunity for people to meet a live kakapo. He has been visited by many school groups, and provides hard-working volunteers with a good chance of seeing a bird.
Sirocco remains a wild bird in that he does not live in captivity, but he has visited several places in the last few years - on tour as ambassador for his species.
He achieved superstar status in October 2009, when the BBC series “Last Chance to See” featuring Stephen Fry and Mark Cawardine aired in the UK. A YouTube clip of Sirocco getting ‘up close and personal’ (read trying to mate) with presenter Mark Cawardine 's head gained more than 700 000 views in just one week! And that's a lot of hits for a New Zealander.
To see how Sirocco gained his fame, click here. It's very funny!