A fabulous story from Save the Kiwi, New Zealand showing how our Brinsea TLC Intensive Care Units are used in conservation work.


‘This kiwi had a bit of a rough start but 3.5 years later, he’s living his best life!
When it’s almost time for kiwi chicks to hatch, they internalise their yolk sacs through their naval (essentially, they suck their yolks into themselves through their tummies) but during the 2020/21 hatching season, the team at the Gallagher Kiwi Burrow had to give a chick a bit of extra help. He couldn’t hatch out of his shell on his own, so our team stepped in and carried out a ‘full assist’ hatch. When the chick emerged, the team discovered that he had not internalised his yolk, so they had to massage it into its tummy manually. Not an easy (or pleasant) job! Two weeks later, the chick (given the name “Korapu-Puku” which means “messy stomach”) underwent surgery because his tummy got infected. After surgery, the team assist-fed him until he could do it himself. Once he got the hang of it, he thrived! This chick was destined to join the founder population of kiwi at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, but because he’d had a plucked stomach from surgery, he went to the Napier kiwi creche for a bit of R&R first and to avoid more infection. When his feathers came through a few months later, he was transferred to the maunga.
Fast-forward 3.5 years, and the translocation team at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari has just caught Korapu-Puku during the muster! This photo was taken last week before he was re-released back into the sanctuary (the founding population will stay at Maungatautari forever). It isn’t common for our incubation team to see their ‘babies’ once they’ve been released into the wild. From senior kiwi keeper Kim, ‘Seeing our ‘babies’ all grown up living their best wild lives makes our job even sweeter!’
Go forth and prosper more, Korapu-Puku!’
Photos courtesy of www.savethekiwi.nz

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