The world’s heaviest parrot, Kakapo has been named New Zealand’s bird of the year after a bitter election campaign and allegations of voter fraud.
This seems like a remake of American presidential elections that saw bitter and polarised campaigning followed by allegations of voter fraud by Donald Trump who till date refuses to concede defeat.
The fat, flightless and nocturnal parrot stunned pundits to claim an upset victory after a week-long campaigning, the CNN reported. This is kakapo’s second victory to be crowned as the bird of the year. While there is no constitutional hurdle to it, the practice of having one winner for more than one terms is unusual.
“In a stunning upset the kākāpō swoops in from behind to claw the title of #BirdOfTheYear 2020 away from competition front-runner,” Forest & Bird, the environmental group that organizes the annual contest, announced on social media on Monday.
This contest of birds in New Zealand is known to turn heated with politicians, celebrities and online groups endorsing their preferred creatures. However, this year’s competition became even more controversial after the organisers reportedly detected that more than 1,500 ‘fraudulent votes’.
In the competition was a hihi which practices “consensual polyamory”, takahe, a large, flightless rail.
While the contest had similarities with the US presidential polls, but the defeated birds conceded defeat to the kakapo. It had won the award in 2008.
“It’s been a tight race throughout the election period, but @team_kakapo Kākāpō snatched victory from the beak of defeat and overtaken us in the instant-runoff voting at the end,” the “Albatross for Bird of the Year” campaign wrote on Twitter.
The alleged illegal votes were traced back to suspicious email account and came from the same IP address in Auckland after which the country’s tiny kiwi pukupuku bird came into the lead briefly. New Zealand’s Antipodean albatross, also known as the toroa, was leading the polls until recently and was a favourite too, the Washington Post reported. But kakapo accelerated to clinch the victory in the final moments.