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  1. A full length National Film Unit newsreel.


In November 1948 New Zealand got its own Lost World story, when a population of takahē — a large flightless rail, long thought extinct — was found in a remote part of Fiordland. The rediscovery of ‘notornis’ (a cousin of the pūkeko), by Southland doctor Geoffrey Orbell, generated international interest. This episode of the NFU’s Weekly Review newsreel series treks from Lake Te Anau high into the Murchison Mountains, where the team (including naturalist Robert Falla) find sea shell fossils, evidence of moa-hunter campsites, and the dodo-like takahē itself.

Credits (3)

 John Mallitte
 Briton Chadwick
 Don Oakley

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Attempts to preserve the notornis could be justified by its beautiful colour alone. 
The number of birds in existence is probably less than 50 ... it's days were surely numbered, but with the help being given it, the notornis may even yet win the grim battle for survival.