Willowbank kiwi put on the scales

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve's kiwi are being put under the spotlight to ensure they are kept in top physical condition.

The Christchurch park's group of kiwi were being inspected and weighed in front of the public this week to check they were meeting the right physical requirements for their species. 

Thirteen-year-old ''home-bred'' kiwi Merekara was given a physical examination today, checking her length, skin and mouth condition and weight. 

Head keeper Shaun Horan said Merekara was ''certainly quite a character'' and keepers had to keep an eye on her weight as she had a tendency to ''get slightly big''. 

''She does like her food,'' keeper Jemma Martin added.

Merekara's weight came in at just over 2.6kg today - only a small amount over the recommended weight for a female kiwi of 2.5kg. 

''The fact she's only a little bit above, that's really good,'' Martin said.

''She has gone a little bit higher than that before.''

The Press