Sunday, September 18, 2005

KAKAPO PARROTS - Battered kakapo on the mend

News over at New Zealand's Stuff about a hair raising incident for young Pounamu, one of the four Kakapo chicks from this year's breeding season.
Pounamu and another juvenile female were only two weeks away from being released into the wild when a territorial adult male kakapo jumped into their open-topped pen at a DOC hatchery and beat them up.

The other female suffered minor injuries, but Pounamu has for the last two weeks been recovering in the wildlife ward at Massey University's veterinary clinic and hospital.

She received a deep bite on the back of her neck and had feathers and skin stripped away. There is also nerve damage to her left wing which has been treated and bandaged, but might yet require another operation to prevent it from dragging.

"Kakapo do not fly," said avian and reptile wildlife specialist, Dr Brett Gartrell. "It is said that they use their wings to parachute down from branches, but anyone who has seen it knows their parachuting skills are equal to those of a brick."