Date: 09 July 2009
Staff from the Department of Conservation have released a wild kiwi back into the bush near Whakapapa village just a week after it was hit by a car on June 26th. The bird was found by Bayview Chateau Tongariro staff on the Bruce road who then called the Department’s after hours hotline 0800 DOCHOT (0800 362 468). Once the kiwi was stabilised, Department staff took the kiwi to the NZ Wildlife Health Centre at Massey University.
After several days of observation and checks by vets at the Wildlife Centre it was apparent the bird had suffered no major injuries, and the decision was made to return it to the bush. “It is a wild bird, and the best place for it is back in the bush where it came from”, says Robert Hood, Biodiversity Programme Manager. “We are really pleased with the outcome, as it demonstrates the value of members of the public doing the right thing and giving us a call, rather than not getting involved.”
There is a growing population of kiwi in the National Park. “In particular the areas surrounding Ohakune Mountain Road, Karioi, Mangahuia stream and Whakapapa village all contain kiwi, and drivers need to take care when driving at night, as kiwi will freely cross roads in their territory” says Rob. “But if an accident does happen, please give us a call immediately no matter what the time of day or night, and we will do all we can to get there as fast as possible”.
All in all this was a positive outcome, and a reminder for motorists around the National Park to look out for kiwi on our highways.
Programme Manager Community Relations