New Zealand: Ticking off the Kakapo

I ‘m embarrassed that as an Asian, I fail in all the math and science subjects just like how the kakapo would be embarrassed for being the world’s heaviest flightless parrot. Both of us are clumsy but cute.

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The Maoris hunt kakapo for meat and use the feathers for decoration. They also keep it as a pet.  It is very easy to catch the kakapo- just shake the tree and wait for the fall. It is the world’s heaviest parrot, a nocturnal herbivore and totally flightless. It uses its beak and feet to climb trees to reach for food and hops around on the ground clumsily to get from point A to point B.

Colonisations led to its fast decline in numbers and nowadays, there are less than 200 hundred of them in the world. The added bonus that explains why it is critically endangered is the fact that the kakapo relies on standing very still and blending in with its environment to help it escape predators. However, they have a strong musty smell so not good  in trying to be low key.  Breeding is rather hard since they are also like the panda in the bird’s world- they only reach sexual maturity around 9 to 10 years old and only breeds every 2 to 5 years. The good news is, they often live well into their 90s.

New Zealand is great for bird-lovers and a visit to a zoo is delightful since you can also see the kiwi. I personally prefer the kakapo and am I glad to see one during this trip!