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Wild kiwi chick rescued from middle of highway

News Release

Wild kiwi chick rescued from middle of highway

Rotorua, 27 March 2013 – A tiny 185g wild kiwi, possibly battling the drought and lack of food, has been scooped up from the middle of the state highway in the Coromandel by a passing builder.

Paul and Lee Sayers rescued the little bird near Whitianga on Monday, and when asked to describe the chick's size they said it looked like a little pita-pocket and was around the same size, so its become known as 'Pita-Pocket'.

They delivered the chick to local Coromandel Project Kiwi manager Paula Williams who then contacted Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, New Zealand's largest kiwi hatchery. Claire Travers, Kiwi Encounter Kiwi Husbandry Manager now has the kiwi under her protective wing.

Pita-Pocket was dehydrated and at 185grams was severely underweight for his/her age, which is estimated to be around 17-20 days. Other kiwi chicks at Rainbow Springs about the same age weigh in at around 400grams.

"The current dry conditions are a strong indicator toward his lack of nourishment as in the dry conditions bugs burrow deep and the little kiwi's beak is not long enough to penetrate as far beneath the ground as it needs to, to reach its food source," Claire says.

Pita-Pocket has been receiving 'intensive care' type treatment at Kiwi Encounter and is responding well. He's had fluids and is enjoying his 'ready food source' which includes the Rainbow Springs standard kiwi chick fare.

Claire is keeping a close eye on little kiwi as he's got an injury to his beak, which could impact on his breathing and will be closely monitored.

When Pita-Pocket has recovered, and reaches a healthy weight to enable him to survive in the wild he will be released back to his natural habitat in the Coromandel.

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.

Rainbow Springs, Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua


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