Introduction

A kiwi found within the Whangarei Kiwi Sanctuary this week has been sent to the specialist New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre at Massey University in Palmerston North.

A kiwi found within the Whangarei Kiwi Sanctuary this week has been sent to the specialist New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre at Massey University in Palmerston North.

The kiwi was found wandering through the bush during the day by Department of Conservation kiwi ranger Miriam Ritchie. The kiwi had a bent neck, a limp and appeared disorientated.

The bird was taken to Kamo Vets and seen by Sandra Murray, who recommended he be sent to Massey University. He was suspected to have either an inner ear infection, which was affecting his balance, or heavy metal poisoning.

The seven-year-old male kiwi, whose name is ‘Muesli’ was housed at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre overnight before being flown to Palmerston North courtesy of Eagle Air and Mt Cook Airlines. He was given initial treatment for an inner ear infection while at the Centre, which he responded well to.

“Muesli has not been in good condition for a while now so it will be good to have him thoroughly checked out while down there. He will likely undergo a range of medical tests including blood and faecal testing and x-ray to determine what is wrong with him,” says Miriam Ritchie.

The bird was named by a visiting American researcher who thought Muesli was a funny name for the breakfast cereal she knew as “Granola”.

Kiwi can live for more than 50 years in the wild where dogs are kept under control. Muesli, who had his first nesting attempt late last year, could have a long life ahead if he regains health. If treatment is successful he will be returned to his home in the Whangarei Kiwi Sanctuary and be able to contribute to future kiwi populations if protected from threats such as dogs. The Whangarei Kiwi Sanctuary is home to many kiwi who have been helped by the BNZ Operation Nest Egg programme.

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