Already handicapped by being large, flightless, nocturnal and endangered, the New Zealand kakapo has been dealt another low blow, being voted the world's second ugliest animal and dubbed a ''rubbish parrot''.
In a YouTube poll sure to ruffle a few New Zealand feathers, the kakapo finished runner up to a fish that looks like a large blob of goop with eyes.
The blobfish, which looks like a slimy bald, grumpy old man, was voted the world's ugliest animal, after 3000 votes on 12 creatures were lodged.
It received 795 votes, and the kakapo 617.
Ugly Animal Preservation Society founder Simon Watt, said the kakapo was a "rubbish parrot".
It was not remotely afraid of predators, so was all but wiped out when colonisation brought predators such as cats, rats, ferrets, and stoats. There are thought to be only about 130 left.
British writer Stephen Fry once described it as looking like an "old Victorian gentlemen".
A two minute clip promoting the kakapo dubbed it "very human looking".
''But it's not human and that makes it very ugly looking indeed,'' Watt said.
The good news for the kakapo was the online poll was aimed at raising awareness of unsightly species that play an important role in the ecological web.
Third was the axolotl, a Mexican amphibian also called the "walking fish".
Other candidates were the proboscis monkey, which has red genitals, a big nose and a pot belly, and the Titicaca water frog, which also goes under the less-than-scientific moniker of "scrotum frog."
A total of 88,000 people visited the website where the polling took place, reflecting wide interest in the issue
The blobfish's reward is to be enshrined as the official mascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, a loose association of stand-up comedians who humorously champion endangered but visually unappealing species.
It felt the panda had been getting too much attention, while less good looking endangered species were overlooked.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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