The Sheep-killing Parrot, or the Goblin Kea
English Illustrated Magazine
Ornithology, Natural History, Acclimatization, Hunting
Claims that the case of the kea, or New Zealand parrot, shows that 'feathered bipeds can become as depraved under evil environment as if they were bipeds of the non-feathered variety'. In the new environmental conditions created by the rapidly growing human population of New Zealand, the 'unfortunate kea' has had to 'become carnivorous under necessity' and 'kidney-fat was the apple that ruined the vegetarian of the New Zealand Eden'. The bird, moreover, has now become 'not only a carnivore, but is a very epicure among the carnivores', and has taken to attacking and eating sheep. Indeed, the 'rapacity' of the kea is 'gruesome', and in 'a single twelve months in a corner of one run these birds have destroyed over one thousand sheep. They have been known to kill as many as two hundred healthy sheep in a single night'. Suggests that 'those sportsmen who seek the wide world over for opportunities of congenial slaughter' should 'concentrate their efforts on the New Zealand parrot'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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