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Upland Moa Video Updates At Otago Museum

Otago Museum has long been home to an articulated upland moa skeleton and housed underneath is a video which tells the story of its discovery. This moa was found by Jonathan Carr and Josh Clark while hunting in the North Routeburn Valley in 2002 when they discovered a small and unlikely cave that contained the moa bones and an unlaid egg.

The video that played beneath moa was from a VHS tape that had been converted to a poor-quality digital video that played on an old, energy intensive cathode ray television.

Two years ago, Ross Mackay contacted Otago Museum to film the upland moa for a ski video that he was making with Josh Clark about the ski descent of Mt Somnus and the Somnus Couloir, near where Josh Clark and Jonathan Carr found the cave. The film was presented by North Face as part of the 2019 New Zealand Mountain Film Festival called Upland Dreams – Somnus Laid to Rest.

Otago Museum worked together with Mr Mackay using footage from this film to replace the old video in the Museum. The new film is presented and narrated by Josh Clark and features original footage that was filmed by NHNZ as well as updated information presented by Kane Fleury, Otago Museum’s Natural Science Assistant Curator.

“We are really pleased to be able to update the old video”, said Mr Fleury, “It is a great opportunity to have the people who found the moa, present the video and to ensure that their voices and views are included in the story”.

The new film is playing on a new energy efficient television in the same space below the moa. “We are sure that the public will enjoy the updated film. It is great to be able to be able to refresh the story of an iconic specimen and to tell the story of it’s collection. Moa went extinct 600 years ago and still to this day inspires people to learn about New Zealand’s unique natural history”, said Mr Fleury.

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