A painting of huia. Photo / Getty Images
A pair of rare, stuffed New Zealand birds have sold at a British auction for a price that soared well beyond the estimate.
The male and female huia – a species that is now extinct – went under the hammer at a natural history taxidermy sale run by Tennants Auctioneers.
They were presented in a glass case, perched on a branch and surrounded by hummingbirds, rocks and foliage.
The specimen was expected to sell for between £15,000 and £25,000, but fetched £220,000 – around $466,000 – excluding the buyer’s premium.
The auction was controversial and sparked calls for the New Zealand government to step in.
It was not known who bought the birds.