Private Hunt, the parakeet mascot

The Solomons Island parakeet Private Hunt, mascot for 37 New Zealand Infantry Batalion of 3 New Zealand Division in the Pacific, is pictured here with his trainer, Private Currie.

According to 37 Battalion official history, Pacific saga, Private Hunt came to an unfortunate end at Vella Lavella in April 1944.

He had fallen into a rain-barrel during the night and drowned. He had travelled with us since Guadalcanal days and was a most popular and well-known member of the battalion. When very young he had been petted a lot and did so much walking about that his normally long tail became worn down to a small stump, through dragging on the ground. Later, when he endeavoured to fly, he hadn't a hope, without his tail. He had learned to whisper some very wicked words, mainly in disparagement of members of the intelligence section, whose special pet he was and who, it is feared, taught him his naughty ways. Often he would be heard muttering over and over again, 'Currie you're a ...!' 

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