Weka found with dart through eye

DISTURBING: this darted weka is recovering after surgery.
DISTURBING: this darted weka is recovering after surgery.

Vets who operated on a weka shot through the eye with a crossbow dart are hopeful it will not lose its sight.

A tourist found the injured bird in a car park at Tauranga Bay, 14 kilometres west of Westport, on Thursday and notified the Conservation Department.

"When our ranger got there he found the weka had been shot with a crossbow and the dart was embedded in the face of the weka through one eye," DOC community relations manager John Green said.

Vets who removed the dart thought it might have been lodged in the bird's head for a while.

Weka are fully protected under the Wildlife Act.

"Weka are now becoming very rare in some parts of New Zealand and it is disturbing to see acts of extreme cruelty carried out like this within our community," Mr Green said.

The department is keen to hear from anyone with information about the attacker.

The vet who operated on the weka said it would probably be left with some sight in one eye.

"It probably hasa blinding headache, though."