“Aberrant and extremely interesting fauna” was sought on 7 February 1908.
This was bad news for kiwi, weka, kea, native parakeets, ducks and tuatara deemed to fit this somewhat insulting description. The Department of Internal Affairs gave permission for 31 birds and four tuatara to be captured and sent to London to be displayed in an exhibition of Australasian fauna which was to be held in the London Zoological Gardens. It was not said whether they were to be sent alive or dead, but presumably the latter as no mention was made of their care on the voyage or what would happen to them when the exhibition ended. The Department of Tourist and Health Resorts approved spending 25 pounds for the capture and transport of the birds and tuatara to Sydney from whence they would be shipped to London at the expense of the exhibition organisers.
Shown here is a letter from London Zoological Gardens representative David Seth-Smith asking that the birds and tuatara be delivered to Sydney by early April 1908.
ACGO 8333 IA1/1029/ 1908/439
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