Winston the hustling weka

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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.
 

Holly Green

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I was expecting this to be a thread about a weta. I pictured Winston the Weta lurking in a dark corner of a seedy pool hall, waiting for the next snickering biped who thought they could snooker an insect, to stumble in.

But wekas are cool too. Go Winston!

Not sure why I'm encouraging him though. Why are dishonest animals so funny? I don't find thieving lying humans endearing. But klepto cats, conartist birds, and squirrels who steal eack others stash...and bears...don't get me started on bears...
 
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frimble3

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I was expecting this to be a thread about a weta. I pictured Winston the Weta lurking in a dark corner of a seedy pool hall, waiting for the next snickering biped who thought they could snooker an insect, to stumble in.

But wekas are cool too. Go Winston!

Not sure why I'm encouraging him though. Why are dishonest animals so funny? I don't find thieving lying humans endearing. But klepto cats, conartist birds, and squirrels who steal eack others stash...and bears...don't get me started on bears...
I think it's because the 'thieving animals' tell us that we are not that different from them, for all our claims of 'superiority'.
It reminds us that animals are not little Disney creatures, mindlessly bopping around.
And that there are deep truths in Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Yogi Bear.
 

NickyRainbow

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I had never heard of a weka before! I just googled them and dang, Winston, you're cute as heck! Little guy can pull whatever grift he wants with that adorable face.
 

bunny hugger

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I never saw a weka (left NZ in 2000) but it seems like sightings are becoming very common. It's good to see the native birds doing better -- even when they are little con artists.
 
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