Wekas are handsome, cheeky, flightless birds native to New Zealand; they became endangered when predators such as stoats, weasels, possums, etc got brought here. However, they are tough, resilient, and resourceful. And one of them, Winston, has taken cheeky and resilient to a new level:
Every day as tourists pull in to gaze at the scenic wonder of Coghlans Lookout, north of Punakaiki on the South Island’s West Coast, the wiley weka flops out of a bush, dragging a gammy leg. With his mournful eyes and skidding gait, he secures yet another handful of artisan pumpernickel bread, freshly sliced and baked just to his liking.
Yes, Winston’s got hustling down to a fine art.
Too smart for any bog-standard attempts at capture, the plucky bird can easily turn his limp into a full-gated scoot into the bush.
Even going as far as to politely peck from the outstretched hands of any Tom, Dick and Mary, Winston has yet to ever be caught. Visitor centre supervisor Jacob Fleming said Winston had been tricking his adoring public for over two years.