Sinbad is a relatively young kākāpō who had an adventurous start to his life.
Three weeks after hatching, his condition had not improved so staff removed him from the nest and hand-raised him instead.
Soon after, when he had gained further weight, he was airlifted 700km south to Te Anau, to be raised at the Department of Conservation takahe rearing unit.
But en route, Sinbad developed respiratory problems and was saved only by quick-thinking airline staff, who fitted the hapless bird with a modified oxygen mask. He then rested in a Christchurch hotel before making the final leg of his journey south by car.
By the age of three months, little Sinbad had been transformed into a big healthy bird and was able to return to Maud Island, where he spent a further five months being hand-raised before being released into the wild.
Now based on Codfish Island (Whenua Hou), Sinbad is described as lovely and gentle. He will often come out at night to say ‘hello’ to staff when they are in the area, and is always very nice and even-tempered to them. He is also an attractive bird, with an immaculate plumage, large eyes, and very tidy eating habits at the supplementary feeding stations.
Sinbad set up his first ‘track-and-bowl’ system in 2009 and was successsful in mating with Cindy that year, but unfortunately didn’t produce any chicks of his own.
Staff have high hopes for him and his brother Gulliver, to breed successfully in the future.
Sinbad was named after Sinbad Gully, in Fiordland where some of the last kākāpō lived and close to where his father, Richard Henry, was found in 1975.