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Wellington Zoo assists with Kākāpō Recovery

Media release
23 April 2014

Wellington Zoo assists with Kākāpō Recovery

Wellington Zoo Veterinary Science Manager Lisa Argilla has travelled to Whenua Hou/Codfish Island to assist Kākāpō Recovery during this year’s breeding season.

Dr Argilla has been involved with Kākāpō Recovery since spending time providing veterinary care for 26 chicks during the 2009 breeding season.

“It’s a privilege to be involved with a conservation project that has been so successful in restoring the numbers of these critically endangered birds,” said Dr Argilla.

While at Whenua Hou/Codfish Island, Dr Argilla will provide veterinary care and advice for the five chicks produced during this year’s breeding season, three of which are currently being hand raised with hopes of returning them to their parents. She will also provide general health care to any other Kākāpō in need, helping to ensure a healthy population.

Dr Argilla is an Avian Veterinarian and has extensive experience in neo-natal parrot care and medicine. In 2011 this experience was called on when a Kākāpō chick fell ill and was transported from Whenua Hou/Codfish Island to Wellington Zoo for care. The little bird, named Stella by Zoo staff, was successfully treated at The Nest Te Kōhanga and was able to be returned to the island.

Whenua Hou/Codfish Island, near Stewart Island, is one of three offshore islands managed by the Department of Conservation to ensure a predator-free environment to protect Kākāpō, and help recover their numbers.


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