BVNA guest speaker Mark Carwandine went to unusual lengths to stir the public’s interest in animal conservation during filming of BBC show

Sirocco the kakapoAs part of the filming for the show – also starring comedian Stephen Fry – Mark finds himself warmly welcomed to New Zealand by Sirocco the kakapo, one of the 124 remaining native birds described as “a fat, flightless parrot which, when threatened with attack, adopts a strategy of standing very still indeed”.

Department of Conservation staff are amazed by the response the programme has evoked from the British public.

Department spokesperson Nic Vallance said: “[Sirocco’s] Facebook page alone jumped from 600 friends to over 2,000 friends in the 48 hours following the broadcast of the kakapo episode… and the YouTube clip of him getting ‘up close and personal’ with presenter Mark Cawardine has resulted in well over half a million hits.”

The show is a remake of the series the late Douglas Adams and Mark Cawardine recorded for radio and published as a book in 1990.

Many of the comments posted on Sirocco’s rapidly growing Facebook page send words of support and encouragement to kakapo recovery as well as many offers of donations to continue to increase the survival of the rare bird.

You can follow Sirocco at www.twitter.com/SiroccoKakapo for regular updates.

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