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Haast Tokoeka Kiwi chick at Wellington Zoo

Haast Tokoeka Kiwi chick at Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo is caring for a juvenile Haast Tokoeka Kiwi, that was recently admitted to The Nest Te Kōhanga for treatment.

‘This Kiwi came to us very underweight, and our samples revealed both coccidia and ascarids (intestinal roundworms),’ said Lisa Argilla, Veterinary Science Manager.

‘I suspect he or she has been struggling to forage for food, and being underweight has potentially allowed the parasites to increase due to a compromised immune system.’

Since arriving at The Nest Te Kōhanga the chick has been eating well and gaining weight steadily.

‘The intestinal worms are quite large so we are treating them reasonably slowly, over about five days, after which we’ll take repeat samples,’ explained Dr Argilla.

‘All going well, we hope to be able to send this precious bird back home very soon.’

Endemic to the West Coast of the South Island, the Haast Tokoeka Kiwi is critically endangered – with only an estimated 400 birds remaining in the wild.

Wellington Zoo successfully cared for two Haast Tokoeka Kiwi chicks in March this year. After a course of antibiotics for a bacterial infection, they were able to return to the Department of Conservation (DOC).

‘Wellington Zoo has a terrific relationship with DOC – they send a number of sick birds to The Nest Te Kōhanga, where we are able to diagnose what’s wrong and treat them until they’re well enough to be sent home,’ said Dr Argilla.

‘It’s a partnership that highlights the importance of organisations working together for native species conservation.’


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