Thursday 23 March 2017
In 1926 the Canterbury Club on Oxford Terrace had a visitor turn up who was definitely not on the members list.
However due to its exotic pedigree it was allowed entry anyway and given a plate of fish to eat. It was a Kotuku or White Heron and it became a regular visitor for a number of years until around 1929 when, on one of his visits, he was accidently shut inside a large fridge unit and not found for a few days.
As a mark of respect the Club had him mounted, with his case placed in the card room so the members could remember him. The heron was generously donated to the Museum in 2008. Kotuku are rare in New Zealand with only one breeding ground of around 150 birds at Whataroa in, South Westland.