A kiwi only recently released into the wild was seriously injured after being hit by a car in Northland.

Sheryl the kiwi, named after the Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai, was released six weeks ago by Tutukaka Landcare.

She was found bruised and unable to walk on Matapouri Rd on the Tutakaka Coast on Saturday by local Nan Pullman.

Pullman discovered the injured kiwi lying in a pile of leaves on the side of the road during a daily monitoring check.


"She was unable to stand or walk and it seemed she may have suffered a glancing blow from a vehicle as she crossed this extremely busy road at night," Pullman said.

Robert Webb of the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre assessed Sheryl and confirmed the bird still had some feeling in her legs, her bill was intact and that there was no sign of external bleeding.

However, her stiff, bruised legs meant she was unable to walk.

"We are hoping that she is just bruised and will recover in the next little while so she can return to the predator controlled Tutukaka Coast," said Pullman.

Sheryl was released into the wild at Tawapou Farm on November 17 and since then her movements, as she explored her new home, have been monitored by Pullman and other TLC (Tutukaka Landcare Coalition) volunteers via a transmitter attached to her leg.

Sheryl spent most of the past month in several bush gullies near her release site but locals got nervous when she started to head towards Matapouri Rd a few days before she was hit.

Pullman said holiday traffic had been "very heavy" in the area.

"Please tell family, friends and visitors to slow down on the roads and take special care at night as they may well find a kiwi crossing in front of them," she urged.


Meanwhile, other kiwi monitored by Tutukaka Landcare are safe and sound.

Henreeta is still tucked into Horseshoe Bay; Kicker is on the coast at Tawapou and Kokiri is just in behind Sandy Bay.

For regular news and priority updates on the Tutukaka kiwi, sign up to the Kiwi Coast "Follow a Kiwi" programme.