Sirocco’s a con­ser­va­tion star at zoo

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

Auck­land Zoo is set to host a very spe­cial guest dur­ing Con­ser­va­tion Week next week.

Sirocco – hand-raised as a sin­gle kakapo chick – will leave his home on Cod­fish Is­land to visit the big city.

Auck­land Zoo se­nior vet Dr Richard Jakob-Hoff says this could be a once in a life­time op­por­tu­nity to see the world’s rarest par­rot.

“It will be the sort of thing you’ll tell your grand­kids about,” he says.

The 124 kakapo liv­ing on Cod­fish Is­land are the only ones left and the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion works hard to boost num­bers.

But he says the species could still eas­ily be­come ex­tinct if dis­ease in­fected the pop­u­la­tion.

Twelve-year-old Sirocco had to be hand-reared be­cause of a lung in­fec­tion and Dr Jakob­says that means he’s re­laxed around peo­ple. “He thinks he is a per­son.” DOC spokes­woman Ni­cola Val­lance says the young bird is some­thing of a con­ser­va­tion su­per­star.

“His love of peo­ple has seen him be­come an im­por­tant ad­vo­cate for his species, and has en­abled DOC to help tell the story of one of New Zealand’s great­est con­ser­va­tion chal­lenges.”

Sirocco will be ap­pear­ing in a custom-built view­ing area at the zoo from 6pm to 9pm from Septem­ber 14 to 23.

The Auck­land City Har­bour News has one fam­ily pass to the zoo’s kakapo evenings to give away. To go into the draw send your name, ad­dress and day­time phone num­ber on the back of an en­ve­lope to Kakapo Com­pe­ti­tion, Pri­vate Bag 56910, Do­min­ion Rd, Mt Eden, Auck­land 1446. Or email your en­try to edcl@snl. co.nz with Kakapo Com­pe­ti­tion in the sub­ject head­ing.

En­tries must be re­ceived by noon on Septem­ber 16.

Photo: DOC

Once in a life­time: Sirocco the kakapo will be ap­pear­ing at Auck­land Zoo to cel­e­brate Con­ser­va­tion Week.

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