Kaka saved by Auckland Zoo vets
A male North Island kaka, left unable to fly after being shot through the wing, has made it through surgery.
The kaka was spotted, unable to fly, on Great Barrier Island in April. It was transferred to Auckland Zoo's vet hospital after being monitored by local wildlife experts.
X-rays taken by the zoo revealed the bird had been shot and a shotgun pellet was lodged in the wing, which had healed around it.
In an operation yesterday afternoon, vets retrieved the pellet, which had been inside the bird for as long as 10 weeks, but were unable to repair the fractured wing.
Zoo staff were pleased with how the surgery went, but said it was unlikely the bird will be able to fly again and it would have to remain in captivity.
Auckland Zoo's Andrew Nelson said it was sad to have a native bird injured by a human.
North Island kaka are considered by the Department of Conservation to be ''vulnerable''.
"It's really disappointing to see another one of our endangered wildlife has been shot at - there's no nice way of putting it.
"I have no idea why someone would try and shoot [it]...who knows why someone has chosen to do such a senseless act."
"We are working actively here to try and get kaka back into places where they once lived, and we are working alongside members of the community who are dying to get kaka back into their neighbourhoods. So it's sad to see someone out there is taking pot-shots at kaka in the wild...it's sad to see them being treated this way."
Kaka mainly occupy mid-to-high-canopy trees and move in large flocks. Nelson said once the bird had recovered, the aim was to introduce it into the national breeding programme.
"Hopefully this guy will be able to contribute to that programme, but also be an ambassador for it and give people a better understanding of the North Island kaka. And if we are successful, [we will] not see more birds coming in, in the future, with gun shot wounds or problems that have been encountered by people."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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