Community rallies to help Bush Haven
Bush Haven managers Russell and May Evans thought that their dream of breeding kaka would never come true.
The pair must extend their existing aviary before the Department of Conservation will allow them access to a male kaka to breed with their female.
The couple run Bush Haven from their Otatara home, rescuing native birds that have been injured, and nursing them back to health before releasing them.
Mr Evans was particularly frustrated that, because of health issues that resulted in him needing a pacemaker, he was unable to weld or do any strenuous labour required to build the extension.
But when The Eye caught up with them on Tuesday, Mr and Mrs Evans had new energy, sparkles in their eyes and smiles on their faces.
"It's been quite overwhelming," Mr Evans said. "The phone never stopped, we certainly weren't expecting that kind of response."
More than 20 people have contacted the couple to offer donations of materials, cash, and help to build the extension, including a $500 donation from a local man, and welders offering their skills and time.
When Fonterra graduate environmental officer Sean Spencer saw the Evans' plea for help, he saw the opportunity for Fonterra to get involved.
Mr Spencer hopes that Fonterra will be able to build the extension.
"We've been looking into doing a community project, and thought this would be good. I'm organising volunteers, and getting quotes for materials."
Mr Spencer said the project would become a team building exercise for Fonterra staff.
He had visited Bush Haven, and was excited to be able to help, he said.
Mrs Evans said they would also need to build a second aviary, where the kaka can live while work is done on the extension, and that could be used for juvenile kaka in the future, should breeding be successful.
- The Southland Times
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