In­jured Sarah is back home

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

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.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Safe and sound: Sarah the kakapo at Auck­land Zoo with Dr John Pot­ter be­fore be­ing re­turned to Cod­fish Is­land.

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