Elusive kakapo Sirocco returns

The world's most famous kakapo, Sirocco, has been found alive and well on his home island off the Fiordland coast after going missing for two years.

The flightless parrot, who turns 21 next month, shot to fame in 2009 when he hopped on the head of a zoologist on Codfish Island, apparently trying to mate with the man, in 2009.

BBC presenter Stephen Fry then uttered the phrase: "Sorry, but this is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. You are being shagged by a rare parrot."

He was found again on the island this week by two Conservation Department rangers after two years off the radar due to a failed transmitter.

Kakapo operations manager Deidre Vercoe said it was great to check in with the famous parrot after his hiatus from the public eye.

"While we've been out to search for him a few times, we were confident he'd be perfectly happy out there in the wild in his predator-free home," she said.

"We did miss him and his quirky personality, though, and we've been really keen to catch up with him."

Sirocco imprinted on humans as a chick, after he required extensive treatment for a respiratory illness. Vercoe said he was still friendly with people and appeared no worse for wear.

"However, the kakapo team will be taking a precautionary approach until they can better understand his demeanour and behaviour after two years of bachelor life," she said.

"We know people will be keen to see him return to public life. However, like a true superstar, any future plans will be on his terms."

Sirocco has since thrilled tens of thousands of Kiwi fans during popular live appearances while on "tour" around New Zealand. He jetted around the country like a rock star in a customised travel box strapped into a window seat on the plane, so he could look out.

He also has his own Facebook and Twitter pages, which are followed hundreds of thousands of people.

And Sirocco is also the only bird with a government job. In 2010 he was made official spokesbird for conservation by Prime Minister John Key and even visited the Beehive to meet and greet the politicians.

Since then, he's been a famous advocate for kakapo conservation, making occasional appearances at sites such as predator-free sanctuaries around New Zealand.

Only 150 kakapo survive on remote islands off the NZ coast.

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