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7 Amazing Animal Stories From New Zealand

New Zealand is home to a range of endangered species and conservationists will do almost anything to see them survive. From feeding a pigeon peas for six months, to putting a penguin on a treadmill - some amazing animal stories come out of New Zealand!

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1. A penguin was rehabilitated on a treadmill

Facebook: video.php / Via Wildbase

2. A pigeon was cured of his "pea addiction" (& got a girlfriend)

Otago Daily Times / Via

Bill the kererū was rehabilitated at Project Kereru in Dunedin after being found as a starving fledgling. He has been living off a healthy diet of peas ever since, and has developed something of a "pea addiction".

But the time soon came for his release, and he had to learn to be a wild wood pigeon. He was released two weeks ago and has since gotten himself a girlfriend! The two of them are getting around together so she is showing him the ropes.

3. Slash met a "living dinosaur".

Zealandia / Via Facebook: ZEALANDIA

Yes, you read that right. Former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist, Slash, visited a sanctuary in Wellington where he held a tuatara. These reptiles haven't changed in around 65 million years, earning them the title of a "living dinosaur".

Apparently Slash is very interested in wildlife, particularly reptiles and was "obviously pretty experienced with holding reptiles, he seemed to know what to do."

4. "Cheesecake" the takahe hatched an adorable chick

Stuff / Via

Takahe are some of New Zealand's rarest birds - so rare, in fact, that they were thought to be extinct until 1948 when they were rediscovered in the Murchison Mountains of Fiordland.

Today, there are less than 200 left in the world, so the arrival of an adorable chick on Tiritiri Matangi Island was cause for celebration!

5. Scientists strapped a camera to a penguin / Via Tawaki Project

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to look over a penguin's shoulder when it's swimming? Now you can see it for yourself, thanks to scientists in Dunedin who strapped a camera to a yellow-eyed penguin to learn more about its foraging behaviour and marine ecology.

Penguins are adapted for underwater flight, and the video shows just that - the bird flying through the ocean.

6. This parrot thinks it's a human

View this video on YouTube / Via

The story of "Sirocco the Kakapo" is one that many of us know, but no list of "amazing animal stories from New Zealand" would be complete without this video of him shagging the head of an esteemed British ecologist with commentary from Stephen Fry.

There are less than 150 kakapo left in the world, and Sirocco is one of them. He suffered from a respiratory illness as a chick and had to be hand reared. During the process, he imprinted on humans and now believes vehemently that he is one. He's now a "spokesbird" for conservation and tours New Zealand, appearing at fenced sanctuary's like Zealandia, Maungatautari, and Orokonui.

7. A super cute kiwi chick hatched on valentines day

Pukaha Mount Bruce / Via Facebook: PukahaMountBruce

Little "Valentine" the kiwi was hatched on Valentines day at Pukaha Mount Bruce. He is the 85th kiwi egg to hatch in their specialized kiwi nursery since it started in 2005.

Valentine will remain in a warm brooder for 5 days until he is ready to be introduced to food. He will get daily feedings until he reaches his hatch weight. Once kiwi reach 1.2 kilos, they're able to defend themselves against introduced predators like stoats and can be released into the wild!

Watch Valentine hatch in this video.

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