Tourists taking to our road is a huge concern, especially in the South Island, where they seem to mix up their left and right because there is so little traffic to remind them they are on the wrong side of the road. As a result, many tourists and some Kiwis come to grief every year.
Not content with reducing our population, tourists are now also killing endangered birds
Two young kea have died after suspected car surfing at Deaths Corner in the Otira Gorge.
The Department of Conservation said both birds suffered head injuries from similar incidents in the past week.
Senior ranger Chris Stewart, from DoC’s Arthur’s Pass team, said the parrots were known for landing on cars and picking things off, but sometimes when the cars took off the birds stayed put.
“When the car gets going, they are really in trouble,” Mr Stewart said.
It was not the first time kea had been seen car surfing in the area, however an unusually high number of birds had been congregating at the Otira Viaduct lookout this year, he said.
It’s where all the easy food is to be had. Plus, those tourists are mighty fun. The alternative is to go sit high on a ridge somewhere looking at beech trees.
“They are 1-year-old, teenagers, still having fun.”
They also seemed to copy each other.
“[Car surfing’s] a bit of a problem.”
There was little DoC could do about it, other than educate people to not encourage the birds around people and their cars, Mr Stewart said.
Stupid feral kea car surfing.
Let them die.
It’s called natural selection.
South Island. Road deaths. Natural selection. Hmmm.
– Laura Mills of the Greymouth Star