After a tense fortnight of campaigning, last week John Oliver managed to have the humble Pūteketeke crowned “Bird of the Century” In Forest & Bird survey in New Zealand.
Oliver’s efforts, which included putting up billboards around the world and dressing up as a giant Pūteketeke during an appearance on Tonight’s show, ended in a landslide victory. Pūteketeke received 290,000 votes, almost 280,000 more than second-placed Brown Kiwi North Island.
John Oliver’s “alarming and aggressive” campaign worked. Pūteketeke is “the bird of the century”.
Now, to mark this momentous event and raise funds, Last week tonight teamed up with Forest & Bird and the company Metalbird to create the perfect sculpture: a little John Oliver riding on the back of a Pūteketeke, like – in the host’s own words – “one of his babies” .
“As the website points out with a helpful animation, the John Oliver part can be removed if you want, which is beautiful – if we all had that option,” Oliver said on Sunday’s edition of Last week tonight. “If you want one, with or without me on it, you can order one from this site here“.
30 percent of the $74.99 cost of the sculpture goes to Forest & Bird, an organization that protects and restores wildlife in New Zealand. There is also the option to donate an amount directly through the website.