Kiwi killed after road sign stolen
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionThe death of a female kiwi run over on the Bruce road this week has upset the Whakapapa Village community. Locals are frustrated the death has occurred only a few days after the traffic sign warning drivers to look out for kiwi was again stolen.
Date: 12 July 2010
The death of a female kiwi run over on the Bruce road this week has upset the Whakapapa Village community. The kiwi was well known to the community who would regularly hear her calling during the evening, and was part of a pair within the area being trapped by the local community trapping project. Locals are also frustrated the death has occurred only a few days after the yellow and black diamond traffic sign, which warns drivers to be careful as kiwi are in the area and may cross the road, was again stolen.
The kiwi was found at the side of the road last Sunday night by a local policeman. Garth Stevens of the Whakapapa Holiday Park, who takes local school children on predator trap checks, has since heard the male calling for his mate at night. “I am extremely disappointed that when we were finally seeing results for our hard work, it gets wiped out by one car”.
Programme Manager of Biodiversity Robert Hood, is exasperated that every ski season the kiwi signs are stolen as souvenirs. He is also concerned by the common belief the Department of Conservation only erect the kiwi traffic signs for tourists to take photos beside. Rob explains, “It’s so frustrating to have the same thing happen again year after year. I just hope that this recent kiwi death makes the public realise the kiwi signs are in place for a reason, that kiwi live in the area, and that drivers need to be careful, especially in the evening”.
Adding to the concern over this recent kiwi death is that it is not the first incident of its kind. This time last year when the kiwi sign was stolen from the Whakapapa village a female kiwi ‘Farrah’ was hit and injured. In May this year ‘Cee Cee’, an important breeding kiwi male of the critically endangered rowi species, was run over on the West Coast road in the South Island. The kiwi signs are stolen so frequently down there that the Department of Conservation had taken to painting the kiwi sign on the road. “You can just hope that these deaths of our endangered national bird will raise the awareness of drivers, as well as prick the consciences of those who next think of stealing a kiwi traffic sign”, says Robert.
Kiwi team leader