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Kaka To Be Released Into Karori Sanctuary

Media Release and Photocall

Photocall: Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast, along with children from Lyall Bay School, will help to release three juvenile kaka bred at Wellington Zoo into Karori Sanctuary.

Meet at 11am on Monday 11 June at Karori Sanctuary Visitor Centre.

Wellington Zoo kaka to be released into Karori Sanctuary

Wellington's kaka population is set to be three birds better off from Monday 11 June, when kaka chicks bred at Wellington Zoo are released at Karori Sanctuary.

A total of five North Island kaka chicks were hatched at the Zoo in December 2006, and the first three are being released into the Sanctuary on Monday.

'This is a fantastic opportunity for two Wellington conservation organisations to work together to help care for our native species,' said Zoo Forests Team Leader Suzette Nicholson.

'Some of our Zoo keepers volunteered at Karori Sanctuary during the kaka breeding season, monitoring nest boxes and helping to weigh and measure eggs. Karori Sanctuary offers our staff a great learning experience as a place to contribute to in situ conservation in urban Wellington,' said Suzette.

Effectively extinct in Wellington since the early 1900s, the gregarious and highly intelligent kaka has made a remarkable comeback since eleven birds were released into the Sanctuary between 2002 and 2004. The population now stands at over 70, and the birds are regularly seen in local gardens across the city. The introduction of Zoo-bred birds to the Sanctuary population will help to ensure the genetic diversity of this iconic species in Wellington.

'The kaka comeback is one of the Sanctuary's biggest success stories' said Sanctuary Marketing Coordinator Alan Dicks.

'We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Zoo to increase the diversity of our population and to ensure a stable future for this remarkable species in Wellington.'  

'It is great to see these two iconic Wellington institutions working together to help conserve our New Zealand native birds for urban Wellingtonians,' said Mayor Prendergast.


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