Winner meets chick Amiria

Competition winner Arianna Ponder and her partner Alexander Knight visit the Royal Albatross...
Competition winner Arianna Ponder and her partner Alexander Knight visit the Royal Albatross Centre. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Dunedin's Royal Albatross Centre won a new ambassador yesterday when a Wellington woman who named one of the centre’s chicks saw the bird in real life.

Arianna Ponder had won a trip to Dunedin to visit webcam star Amiria.

Her verdict?

"Amazing."

The name of the chick, which nested in front of the webcam at Taiaroa Head, on the Otago Peninsula, was announced in July by the Department of Conservation. Ms Ponder said she followed Doc on social media, and supported its work.

She saw the competition on social media and "instantly had a name in my head".

That name was Amelia Earhart, the American aviation pioneer, and Ms Ponder came up with a Maori transliteration, Amiria.

She was overjoyed when she received a phone call recently to say she had won.

"This was an amazing competition to win."

She had not been to Dunedin before, and said the albatross colony was  "so much more than I thought it would be".

"You read about how big they are but when you see it in real life, they’re massive and they’re beautiful."

Otago Peninsula Trust marketing manager Sophie Barker said naming the chick was important, as it connected people with the albatross. It also meant the winner would become an ambassador for the colony.

"There’s so many followers on the Royal cam, it’s a really big thing for conservation."

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