Tiny starving kiwi rescued from highway

Photo / supplied
Photo / supplied

A tiny, wild, dehydrated and starving kiwi, the victim of the drought, has been rescued from a Coromandel highway by a passing couple.

Paul and Lee Sayers rescued the 185g bird near Whitianga on Monday.

They said they named the bird Pita-Pocket, because it was about the same size as the round pocket bread.

The chick was taken to Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, New Zealand's largest kiwi hatchery.

Kiwi Encounter kiwi husbandry manager Claire Travers said the chick was thought to be about 17-20 days old.

Other kiwi chicks about the same age weigh in at about 400g.

"The current dry conditions are a strong indicator toward his lack of nourishment as in the dry conditions bugs burrow deep and the little kiwi's beak is not long enough to penetrate as far beneath the ground as it needs to, to reach its food source,'' Ms Travers said.

Pita-Pocket had been receiving 'intensive care' at Kiwi Encounter and was responding well.

However, Pita-Pocket was being closely monitored because it had an injury to its beak, which could impact on breathing.

When the chick has recovered, and reaches a healthy weight to survive in the wild it will be released back to its natural habitat in the Coromandel.

- APNZ

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