In visiting locations around the globe during WWII, American military personnel were able to ship new and unusual animal species to the San Diego Zoo. One was this kagu, a very rare bird found only in New Caledonia. It was presented as a gift to Admiral William H. Halsey by the people of New Caledonia in appreciation for the U.S. fleet's defense of that area in the South Pacific during the opening months of WWII. Admiral Halsey and the Navy were honored but didn't have a place for the bird. The San Diego Zoo had the only other kagu in the U.S., a female that had come to the Zoo in 1927 as part of a shipment of animals from Australia. So Admiral Halsey donated this new kagu to the Zoo, and a Navy chief and two Waves personally escorted the much-celebrated bird aboard ship to bring him to his new home. The general Zoo visitor may not have been aware just how significant the pair of kagus were in the collection—but the news caused a good deal of excitement among ornithologists nationwide.