Conservation Minister Maggie Barry releases takahe in the Murchison Mountains in Fiordland.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry had her hands full when she met Punchbowl the takahe.
Punchbowl was one of 10 of the native birds Barry helped Department of Conservation staff release at Plateau Creek in the Murchison Mountains in Fiordland on Thursday afternoon.
The call of the wild proved too great for Punchbowl, who flapped free of Barry's grip and ran off into the mountains.
Punchbowl the takahe struggles to free himself from Conservation Minister Maggie Barry's grip in the Murchison Mountains in Fiordland on Thursday.
Barry said the bird was very peaceful and quiet until someone pointed out how placid he was.
"For a flightless bird, even though they are very bulky and their centre of gravity is quite low to the ground, they still have power in those wings," she said.
With intensive predator control, the area's takahe population should be able to reach carrying capacity, she said.
"For New Zealanders to understand that conservation is about killing things, that's quite a hard thing to grasp," Barry said.
"For an endangered population like [takahe], to be able to return them to where they were rediscovered by Dr [Geoffrey] Orbell is a fantastic moment."
DOC takahe senior ranger Glen Greaves said the release was the second of three, which would take the total population in the Murchison Mountains to 110 birds.