Home > Uncategorized > Kakapo repaired after painful poke.

Kakapo repaired after painful poke.

Kakapo repaired after painful poke

Stuff.co.nz | Wednesday, 19 November 2008

A female kakapo who indelicately injured herself by sitting on a sharp stick has been repaired at the Auckland Zoo.

A Department of Conservation national kakapo team member discovered “Sarah” and her predicament last month on Codfish Island in the far south.

She was flown to Auckland to be treated by the vet team at the zoo’s New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine.

“Sarah was in a potentially life-threatening state when she arrived. She had a nasty wound to her cloaca and had lost a lot of weight through not being able to forage,” Dr John Potter said.

“She’s responded exceptionally well to treatment and has proven to be a quick healer. She’s also been self-feeding on kumara, apple, nikau berries and other native plants, which has meant that we’ve been able to keep tube feeding her with high-protein parrot formula to a minimum.

“Kakapo don’t generally self-feed in a captive situation, so that’s been especially pleasing. By nature, Sarah is a very feisty bird, and I think this has also contributed to her fast recovery. Since arriving she has put on over 170 grams, and now weighs over 1140 grams,” says Dr Potter.

Programme manager for the National Kakapo Team, Deidre Vercoe, says while Sarah is unlikely to breed this coming season due her needing time to recover, she is a good breeder and is likely to breed again in the future.

Sarah, who is being flown home tomorrow morning, is one of the original founder kakapo birds from Stewart Island. Discovered there in 1989 and relocated to Codfish Island, she has produced two offspring in the past six years – six-year-old male Ariki, and three-year-old female, Pounamu.

The total kakapo population is currently 90 birds, but Ms Vercoe says that with the bumper breeding season expected this coming summer, due to the heavy fruiting of rimu trees, that figure is likely to rise.

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