The Remarkable Survival of Ruapuke the Kākāpō: A Conservation Triumph

Riley Sundew

Updated Saturday, June 29, 2024 at 12:00 AM CDT

In a heartening tale of resilience and meticulous conservation efforts, Ruapuke the kākāpō has become a symbol of hope for the critically endangered parrot species. This remarkable story, shared on a Tumblr blog, has captured the attention of many, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs in kākāpō conservation.

Kākāpōs, known for their unique characteristics and humorous antics, are flightless parrots often described as attempting to fly with the elegance of a "hurled brick." The species, which can live up to 100 years, relies heavily on the fruit production of the rimu tree for breeding, a phenomenon that occurs as infrequently as once every four years. This infrequency, coupled with a high rate of infertility among their eggs, makes every fertile egg invaluable.

In the 2014 breeding season on Whenua Hou island, one of only five fertile eggs laid was accidentally crushed by its mother. However, the dedicated conservation team refused to give up. The damaged egg was meticulously patched with glue and tape, and through careful incubation, it miraculously survived. This egg, originally known as Lisa-one, was later named Ruapuke by the indigenous Ngai Tahu people.

Ruapuke's journey from a patched egg to a thriving parrot is a testament to the persistence of life against all odds. The conservationists' efforts not only saved Ruapuke but also highlighted the critical importance of each kākāpō chick to the species' survival. As Douglas Adams humorously noted, "Last Chance to See" offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of these rare parrots, including their peculiar mating habits.

The Tumblr posts featuring Ruapuke's story have garnered significant attention, with users sharing their thoughts and reactions. Some likened the narrative to a Dr. Seuss book, while others humorously referenced Steven Fry's laughter or Douglas Adams' description of kākāpō mating. One user pointed out the crucial role of conservationists in preventing the kākāpō from meeting the same fate as the dodo, emphasizing the careful management of invasive species on small islands.

This incredible story underscores the importance of conservation efforts and the dedication required to protect endangered species. Ruapuke's survival is more than just a triumph for one parrot; it represents a beacon of hope for the future of the kākāpō species.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


Kakapos are flightless parrots that do not know they cannot fly, and so will occasionally climb up to high branches, leap, and do a most remarkable impression of a hurled brick.


Humans be like "F*** natural selection"


All I can see is Steven Fry laughing hysterically and saying "you are being s***ged by a rare parrot"


Good ole duct tape


Kakapo mating as explained by Douglas Adams:


Yo Mamma jokes**** a little different in the kakapo tribe, huh?


That first paragraph sounded like it was from a Dr. Seuss book.


It also is a flightless bird


Kakapos will end up like dodos if they aren't careful. Seriously, sitting on and crushing your rare egg is just careless.


That thing when it came out the egg looks freaking disgusting

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