New Zealanders outraged at their national bird being mistreated at a Miami Zoo have begun utilising the power of memes to get the Kiwi to Aotearoa.
Zoo Miami, a zoo in Miami, apologised earlier this week after footage surfaced of their solo Kiwi bird, named Paora, being handled by visitors in a brightly lit room. New Zealanders were quick to bombard the zoo's inboxes.
“On behalf of everyone at Zoo Miami, please accept our most profound and sincere apology for the stress initiated by a video on social media depicting the handling and housing of Paora,” a statement from the zoo read. They later stated that the Kiwi encounters would stop “effective immediately” and a new habitat for Paora would be built.
However, Kiwis online want to see their little guy come to Aotearoa and are breaking out the meme weaponry to further the cause.
One Reddit user, u/Foxterria, pasted Paora onto the poster for the movie ‘Martian’, where the words ‘Bring Him Home’ are overlaid on top of the little guy’s face.
People have even hinted at breaking out the iconic laser Kiwi, made famous during the NZ flag re-designs a few years back, and using its power on the state of Florida.
One Kiwi on Twitter reckons an Aotearoa war hero should come out of retirement for a final special mission.
“Get Willie Apiata and the boys back together for one last job,” they tweeted. “The exfiltration of Paora the Kiwi from Miami Zoo.”
Paroa’s popularity amongst the population is even infiltrating the political realm, with one Twitter user joking that he’s polling at a whopping 300%... in an election year too!
Unfortunately, it’s not looking likely that Paraoa can grace our shores. It’s believed the little guy would be a biosecurity risk to our ecosystem as he likely carries bacteria that would not mix great with our animals.
It’s great to see New Zealanders band together and stick up for our little guy, but we’ll just have to hope Zoo Miami have learnt from their mistake and will treat our King with the respect he deserves.
So for now, I’ll have to leave you with one of the saddest tweets I’ve ever seen.
“please help” from Parora the Kiwi.