Sure enough, after a few more days in an incubator, the chick hatched -- bringing the kakapo's total population up to 125 individuals.
The DOC says the young bird is receiving round the clock attention to ensure that its first days outside of its shell are less worrying than those leading up to its hatching.
Kakapos were once common on the islands of New Zealand, but their numbers fell dramatically after invasive species were introduced the island along with European settlers, ravaging the birds which beforehand had no natural predators. By the early 1970s, many had feared that kakapos had gone extinct.
Since 1989, after a large enough group of the birds was rediscovered, the DOC has been implementing the Kakapo Recovery Plan, closely monitoring their breeding along several small islands meticulously cleared of predators. Between 2008 and 2009, kakapos numbered more than a 100 for the first time since the program began, and has steadily been on the rise ever since -- thanks to the hard work and dedication of conservationists, and sometimes a bit of glue.