Kakapo chick rushed into surgery
It’s been a busy time, with one chick having to be rushed to Invercargill’s Elles Road Vets for emergency surgery after being attacked in its nest on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou last weekend.
The male kakapo’s (Arab) aggressive attack left a 20-day-old kakapo chick (nicknamed Bluster) with a 7cm tear down its side, a 2cm gash to its head and both ends of its big toe missing.
“The gash down its side was almost as big as the chick,” Professor Paul-Murphy said. Elles Road vet nurse Tracey Jennings and clinic owner Sandy Cooper assisted the surgery.
It was the first time Miss Jennings had anaesthetised such a rare bird. “It was pretty nerve-racking but it was amazing too, to be working so closely with a kakapo chick,” she said.
Dr Cooper said her clinic had been helping the recovery team during breeding seasons for the past 30 years.
This year had been particularly busy because it was the highest number of chicks ever to hatch (36 hatched and 33 have survived).
Kakapo chicks relocate to lnvercargill
26 kakapo chicks (last update: april 20, 2009) have been taken to a special hand-rearing facility in Invercargill to secure their chances of survival.
The chicks are among the 34 which hatched on Whenua Hou/Codfish Island this breeding season, bringing the critically endangered kakapo population to 125.
Kakapo recovery team leader Deidre Vercoe said unfortunately not enough rimu fruit had ripened on the island for all 27 mothers to feed their chicks on.
Ms Vercoe said some mothers were struggling to keep up with the demands of their hungry offspring, so in order to ensure their survival some of the chicks are being hand-raised.