Injured Sarah is back home
Sarah the kakapo is home on Codfish Island after being treated for a life-threatening injury at Auckland Zoo.
One of only 90 remaining kakapo in the world, Sarah was flown back home last Wednesday after spending a month at the zoo’s New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine.
A Conservation Department worker on Codfish Island, near Stewart Island, discovered an injury on her backside, or cloaca, when doing a routine check-up last month.
Auckland Zoo vet John Potter says Sarah probably sustained the injury by sitting on a stick or sharp object.
He says her injuries were potentially lifethreatening and she was immediately brought to Auckland.
“The wound was exposed, infected and she was underweight,” says Dr Potter.
But he says the wound has now healed and Sarah has put on more than 170 grams.
Sarah is one of the original founder birds discovered in 1989 on Stewart Island and was relocated to Codfish Island.
She has lived there for six years and has produced two offspring, a male called Ariki and a female, Pounamu.
Lee, another injured kakapo being cared for at the zoo, died last month despite treatment for lead poisoning.
National kakapo team programme manager Deidre Vercoe says while Sarah is unlikely to breed this season because of her low weight and extra stress, she is likely to breed again in the future.
Safe and sound: Sarah the kakapo at Auckland Zoo with Dr John Potter before being returned to Codfish Island.