Tourists in New Zealand might be prepared for rip currents, volcanoes, and the odd touch of sunburn, but one unlucky traveler is warning about a hazard no one could have foreseen: thieving wildlife.
Scotsman Peter Leach had stopped to admire the view along State Highway 73 when a kea reportedly flew into his vehicle and stole a small drawstring bag containing $900 ($1100 in local currency) off his dashboard.
Mr. Leach had been photographing the cheeky bird, a highly intelligent type of parrot, minutes before the theft took place.
The 52-year-old retired naval officer told the Scottish Daily Record, "A Canadian couple walked by and said, ‘We’ve just seen that bird take something out of your van.’
“I went back to the vehicle and realised my wallet was gone.”
“The bird took all the money I had. I was left with about £20 in my pocket.”
Mr. Leach, who had to borrow money from friends to continue his trip, reported the incident to local police, but apparently didn't receive the most sympathetic of responses.
He said: “The officer was very serious for the first few questions. Then he said, ‘Do you mind if I just stop to laugh?’ I suppose I can’t blame him.”
Keas have earned themselves a reputation as hooligans in New Zealand for their lack of respect for people's property.
They have been known to vandalise cars in minutes by stripping the rubber surrounds from windscreens and doors, breaking off wing mirrors and shredding tyres.