Vulnerable albatross released back into the wild

The northern royal albatross was released back into the wild. Photo / Supplied via Wellington Zoo
The northern royal albatross was released back into the wild. Photo / Supplied via Wellington Zoo

A one-eyed vulnerable albatross has been released back into the wild after receiving treatment at Wellington Zoo.

The northern royal albatross, or toroa, arrived at the zoo with a deep injury to its left eye.

"While the bird was in a pretty bad way when it arrived, we've been able to get it fit to return to the wild," the zoo's Nest Te Kohanga veterinary practice manager Amanda Tiffin said.

The eye injury was too severe to recover so it was removed to prevent infection, she said.

The outlook looks positive for the one-eyed albatross. Photo / Supplied via Wellington Zoo
The outlook looks positive for the one-eyed albatross. Photo / Supplied via Wellington Zoo

"The bird recovered well from eye surgery and has gained weight and strength, so we're glad to be able to release it back to the wild."

The outlook, however, was looking positive for this one-eyed albatross.

"Returning the toroa back to the wild is an important step for conservation efforts to save the species, which is classified as nationally vulnerable by DoC," Ms Tiffin said.

The toroa northern royal albatrosses only breed in New Zealand waters and they usually mate for life.

Ms Tiffin hoped if this bird had a mate, they would be able to be reunited.

Toroa usually range throughout the Southern Ocean, and were seen in New Zealand's coastal waters during winter.

- NZ Herald

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