Thursday, 21 January 2010

Real Giant Wetas released in wildlife sanctuary

Just came across this article in the local paper, about the NZ Department of Conservation (DOC) releasing 40 Giant Weta into the Karori Wildlife Anctuary (recently renamed as "Zealandia"). The article itself has absolutely nothing to do with the movie industry, but I thought it might be interesting for people to see what the Weta Workshop has been named after.

The Giant Weta is the largest of the different sub-species, there's also the common Tree Weta and the jumping Cave Weta (not my favourite). Unfortunately, the Giant Weta is pretty rare these days, and a breeding program has been instigated by DOC, notably on the little island in the centre of Wellington's harbour. From there, 40 specimen were transported this week to the wildlife sanctuary here in town, and released. One ended up in the newspaper, on the back of the hand of a brave insect wrangler, six-year-old Rion Anderson of Ngaio.

 'IT FELT A BIT TICKLISH': Rion Anderson of Ngaio with the Cook Strait giant weta crawl.

The Weta is a fascinating creature, I often find them outside my house (and occasionally inside). The ones I see on the property aren't as quite big as this one though. Oh, and as with pretty much every other NZ species, they're pretty harmless. What looks like a giant stinger at the rear is actually the ovipositor, with which the female lays her eggs.

Anyway, that's what Richard Taylor named his company after. Apparently when he named it he didn't expect to become a worldwide name - here in NZ everyone knows what a Weta is.

  - Jack M.


  1. Though I knew what a weta is, it is still cool to see one like this. Nice to have that ear to the ground too... don't stop!

  2. Wow, that one looks similar to the ones you found hiding in the umbrella out by where Gollum killed his brother. We loved that you took the time to show them to us on your LOTR tour!

  3. It was a good event to attend, that kid was absolutely fearless. Thanks for the comment on the morepork, I was surprised myself to see one in the daylight ;)

  4. Kim : Technically it's nothing to do with the film-industry, but I'm glad you found it interesting!


    Hey, good to hear from you! You know, I only got to show that to maybe three of four groups before the umbrella went missing! So you got a pretty rare view! Glad you saw them though...!

    I'd love to meet up (for real this time) - drop me a line if you're keen?

    - Jack M.