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Rescued wild kiwi chick released back to Coromandel

Rescued wild kiwi chick released back to Coromandel

Rotorua, 15 October 2013 – A tiny 185g wild kiwi scooped up from the middle of the State Highway in the Coromandel by a passing local couple late last summer, has just been released back into the wild.

Little Pita Pocket - so named because of her small size - has spent the last six months at Rainbow Springs' Kiwi Encounter being nurtured up to a healthy 1.4 kg in readiness to survive back in the natural habitat of Kuaotunu Peninsula in the Coromandel.

Paul and Lee Sayers rescued the little bird from the highway and were very pleased to pick up a healthy Pita Pocket from Rainbow Springs late last week for the journey back home and release. They also took the opportunity to have a tour of Kiwi Encounter, Pita Pocket's home for the last 6 months.

Claire Travers, Kiwi Encounter Kiwi Husbandry Manager says, "Pita Pocket was severely dehydrated when she arrived with us in March and at 185grams was severely underweight for her age. It was a very dry summer which made it difficult for the birds to find food because bugs burrow deep and the little kiwi's beak isn't long enough to penetrate as far beneath the ground as it needs to reach its food source."

Pita Pocket responded well to her 'intensive care' at Kiwi Encounter and is now a strong and feisty bird that should settle well back into her new life and habitat in the Coromandel.

Project Kiwi project co-manager Paula Williams says, "We're thrilled to welcome Pita Pocket back to her home. The Coromandel Brown Kiwi are taonga for all who live here and the adventures of Pita Pocket are a spontaneous opportunity to advocate the longevity and sustained presence of kiwi on the Peninsula."

Celebrating almost 20 years of success, the Project Kiwi Trust is New Zealand’s first community kiwi conservation initiative.

Rainbow Springs' involvement in kiwi conservation began in 1995 with the arrival of an orphaned egg and the hatchery has grown over the years to become the largest kiwi hatching facility in New Zealand, successfully incubating and hatching brown kiwi eggs from around the North Island.



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