Sick kiwi a whiter shade of pale

By Don Farmer of the Wairarapa Times Age -
Manukura the Kiwi was taken to Wellington from Pukaha Mt Bruce wildlife centre on Tuesday after eating two large stones. Photo / Mike Heydon.
Manukura the Kiwi was taken to Wellington from Pukaha Mt Bruce wildlife centre on Tuesday after eating two large stones. Photo / Mike Heydon.

The world's only white kiwi has become unwell after eating two large stones, and is being cared for by specialist vets at Wellington Zoo.

Manukura the Kiwi was taken to Wellington from Pukaha Mt Bruce wildlife centre on Tuesday after being off its food.

Wairarapa area manager for the Department of Conservation Chris Lester said she was put on antibiotics, and an x-ray this afternoon found it had eaten stones too large to pass through its digestive tract.

Mr Lester said the bird will be be rested until Friday to recover from the anaesthetic, before vets would try to extract the stones through the oesophagus. If the stones are too large they will be removed surgically.

The white kiwi was an immediate sensation after being born at Pukaha Mt Bruce in early May.

Manukura is not an albino but an all-white kiwi, believed to be the first since European settlement in New Zealand.

Before falling ill this week she had been making steady progress and had reached 1kg in weight.

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