Stephen Fry docu parrot's romp with presenter gets 500k hits on YouTube
By BEN JACKSON Published: 07 Oct 2009
FOOTAGE of one of the world's rarest birds trying to mate with a BBC presenter during a Stephen Fry documentary has become a hit on Twitter.
More than half a million viewers have watched the moment when an endangered New Zealand parrot becomes amorously attracted to British zoologist and wildlife presenter Mark Cawardine on You Tube.
There have been already 15,000 mentions of the clip on Twitter since a BBC2 show aired the show, Last Chance to See, this week.
The programme features the world's most endangered animals.
Carwardine and actor Stephen Fry had travelled to New Zealand to see the large flightless bird the kakapo which is so rare there are just 124 left in the world. It is the world's only flightless parrot.
But Cawardine, who is also a wildlife photographer, was left astonished as he got close enough to the bird, named Sirocco, and discovered it thought he was a real cracker.
Fry's commentary describes the kakapo as looking like an "old fashioned, big side-burned, Victorian gentleman."
He watches as the bird approaches Cawardine before climbing on his shoulders.
Fry's is heard to say: "Look at that" as Sirocco struggles to grab hold of his bewildered co-presenter, before adding cautiously.
"He's getting a bit frisky - he is."
As camera continue rolling Fry asks a nearby keeper: "Do you think he's actually attempting a sort of mating ritual?"
As a keeper confirms his question off camera he tells Cawardine, "Oh, he is."
Fry continues: "Look he's so happy. It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen."
Collapsing with laughter, tells his colleague: "Mark - you are being shagged by a rare parrot."
Sirocco, who is 12-years-old has shot to stardom since the programme was aired. Admirers have dubbed the footage "award-winning", "the best thing on television" and "quite simply hilarious" while tweets have suggested Sirocco deserves his own TV show.
Carwardine suffered scratches to his head and neck - not to mention a severe loss of dignity in the scuffle.
The whole episode was captured on film and while Fry spread the word on Twitter at the time, but it was when Last Chance to See programme aired on the BBC this week that the public got to see the unusual ritual first hand.
Since then, the clip has been the most viewed video on the BBC website and has had more than 600,000 views on YouTube. Clicks to the video from Twitter have numbered around 15,000 from 113 individual tweets and Sirocco has also cracked the United States, appearing on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show, 'Moment of Geek'.
Sirocco now even appears on Facebook where he received 700 new friend requests within a hour of the show being broadcast.
New Zealand's Department of Conservation and members of the kakapo recovery programme are now deciding the next move for the now internationally renowned parrot.
Sirocco is the face of the kakapo recovery programme and is described as an extraordinary and charismatic bird who has a strong affinity with humans. A respiratory illness suffered early in life meant that Sirocco had to be hand reared by the kakapo recovery team.
The kakapo recovery programme has helped the bird recover from a population of just 100 to 124.