Death of 'magnificent bird' angers

RESTING UP: A Weka rests at Orana Wildlife Park after being captured in Christchurch.
RESTING UP: A Weka rests at Orana Wildlife Park after being captured in Christchurch.

A DOC ranger is angry after having to scrape a dead weka "off the road with a shovel".

Department of Conservation (DOC) staff were kept busy last week with reports of endangered weka wandering around central Christchurch gardens.

One weka was captured last Thursday.

The following day, net-wielding rangers failed to capture other weka that had been seen wandering the inner city.

DOC ranger Anita Spencer said The Press story on Saturday prompted many calls, including one report of a dead weka on Harper Ave.

The bird had run only a few metres from Hagley Park before being run over.

"I was fairly angry at seeing this magnificent bird flat on the road," she said.

"As I scraped it off the road with a shovel, I thought that whoever had released these birds had no thought whatsoever for their welfare. This was the inevitable result of releasing weka in the middle of the city. [It was] totally irresponsible and cruel."

Spencer responded to another sighting on Sunday morning and captured a weka near the corner of Montreal St and Hereford St.

The bird has been taken to Orana Wildlife Park, and will be returned to the West Coast. Spencer thanked everyone who had called or helped with the birds' capture, adding: "I'm not sure if this is the last of them."

Anyone with information about the release of the birds can contact the Mahaanui area office on 341 9100.

People reporting weka sightings can call DOC on 0800 362 468.

The Press