A rehabilitated Southern Royal Albatross gets a sculpture

Bronze statue Southern Royal Albatross
“Moment of Release”, a new public albatross sculpture is unveiled in New Zealand

From time to time ACAP Latest News has featured sculptures depicting albatrosses around the world. Not a common subject for public display perhaps, but examples covered in this website exist in Chile, Ecuador’s Galapagos and in the UK, with a wooden one on the USA’s Midway Atoll sadly lost to termites (click here and here). The latest sculpture that has come to ACAP’s attention is of a globally Vulnerable and Nationally Vulnerable Southern Royal Albatross Diomedea epomophora has very recently been unveiled in Tutukaka on New Zealand’s North Island.

Information on the new sculpture comes from the Facebook group of The Petrel Station Seabird Tours & Research - Tutukaka, NZ as follows.

“Today [17 September] at Tutukaka was the unveiling of this awesome life-size bronze sculpture called ‘Moment of Release’ which depicts the moment local bird carer legend Robert Webb releases a Southern Royal Albatross [known as Albert] he's holding aloft at the front of a boat back in 2005. The sculpture was created to commemorate and honour the amazing and selfless work Rob and his wife Robyn have put into helping and saving thousands of birds (including countless seabirds) throughout the NZ's Northland region over the last 40 odd years out at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre. The albatross had needed care and thanks to Rob and Robyn it made a full recovery. You are both legends and the work you do for our local birds is an inspiration.”

Albert gets released
Inspiration for the artwork: Albert the Southern Royal Albatross gets released at sea in 2005

ACAP Latest News reached out for more information and received a quick reply: “The seabird released was a Southern Royal Albatross (which the sculpture represents). And there were actually two artists who collaborated on the creation - Susan Dinkelacker and Dell Pryor. One created the albatross, and the other created Robert - a very talented pair.”

Read more about the unveiling here and watch a two-minute video about the release of Albert and to hear from the two sculptors.

John Cooper, Emeritus Information Officer, Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, 19 September 2023

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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