A very close second: Auckland Zoo - Kākāpō
Right behind the Tassie devil cake in the vote was this incredible creation by Shannon Quinn, Zookeeper at Auckland Zoo depicting a kākāpō.
Kākāpō are one of the most endangered birds in the world, at present they only survive on predator-free islands. Working alongside the Department of Conservation (DOC), Auckland Zoo is directly involved in the conservation of kākāpō, providing veterinary support, changing transmitters, and minding the nests. During a breeding season their veterinary staff go out to the islands for weeks at a time to ensure the new chicks get the best chance at life.
This year has seen a particularly large input; for the past few months zoo veterinarians have been working overtime to save the critically endangered New Zealand parrot from the fungal infection aspergillosis. At the height of the crisis, 19 kākāpō (adults and chicks) ended up at Auckland Zoo’s Vet Hospital where they required strict quarantine and around-the-clock assessment, care and monitoring.