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ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary
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Welcoming Ahikaea

Kia ora koutou,

It is my pleasure to announce that we are receiving yet another takahē who will live out their retirement at ZEALANDIA! Our new arrival is called Ahikaea and she is a 20-year-old female bird. She is joining us from Auckland Zoo, where she has outlived her mate, Montague. Prior to Auckland Zoo she lived on her ‘hatchplace’ of Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Ahikaea means ‘first of spring’, and she was named due to hatching very early in the season. Her father, Greg, was renowned for his cheeky nature, distracting visitors and stealing their lunches.

Ahikaea will be released into T2’s territory, and we expect the two to live in each other’s company. We will be monitoring the birds closely to look out for any behavioual changes.

We are expecting Ahikaea to arrive on 19 December. We will not be holding a public event, but will simply welcome her with a blessing and film the release for you to watch if you wish.

Ngā mihi,

Dr. Danielle Shanahan
Manager Conservation & Research



Name: Ahikaea. Pronounced ‘Ah-he-kai-ya’. Means ‘first of spring’.
Gender: Female
Age: 20. Hatched 3 October 1997
Band: RM-Y 
Chicks: raised 11 with multiple partners.

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