Kleptomaniac New Zealand parrot steals GoPro, films airborne escape

The kea filmed some majestic views over the Kepler Track, as well as a closeup of its own slightly frenzied attack on the camera

A kea.

A kleptomaniac parrot has become the latest contributor to New Zealand cinema, after stealing a GoPro camera and taking it on a sweeping tour of remote Fiordland.

Aotearoa’s native alpine parrot species, the kea, is known for its curious and mischievous nature – and for swiping wallets, jewellery, packed lunches, windscreen wipers and other valuables from unsuspecting tourists and visitors.

The Verheul family told local television programme Seven Sharp they had been hiking the Kepler Track, and were staying at a hut when they were joined by some kea.

They placed the GoPro out to capture footage of the birds – but one snatched the camera and flew off, filming its flight down the hillside.

The GoPro captures the airborne escape, as well as the kea’s landing and brief, slightly frenzied attack on the camera – ultimately filming a closeup of the bird’s face as it strips off hunks of plastic.

Alex Verheul told Seven Sharp: “We just followed the sound down there, we could see them hanging out in a tree – they’d obviously heard us coming and abandoned the GoPro … My son decided to go check the rocks where it looked like a good place for a bird to land, and there it was still sitting there, still filming.”

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