A Darfield family blames the Department of Conservation (DOC) for the death of their beloved kea Casper and Stumpy.
The endangered alpine parrots have been part of Ron Stewart’s family since 1977 – but on Saturday morning he found them dead on the floor of their aviary.
Less than 24 hours earlier, a DOC ranger and veterinarian took blood samples from the birds despite Stewart pleading with them not to.
DOC staff, “shocked” by the birds’ “unintended and deeply concerning” deaths, returned to uplift them for a necropsy on Monday. They were ordered from the property.
The birds, thought to be about 43 years old, were given to Stewart and his late wife Dawn, an internationally renowned parrot breeder, by DOC’s predecessor, the Wildlife Service, in 1977.
Casper had a head injury and Stumpy’s leg had to be amputated. They were unlikely to survive in the wild.