Hatched just six weeks ago in one of our six native species aviaries, Te Wao nui a Tāne / The Forest, these five ducklings were caught up by our bird team recently to receive health checks prior to heading south for their eventual wild release.

Zoo vet Dr Melanie, with the help of keepers Devon and Catherine, recorded the ducklings weights and took swabs to ensure they’re healthy.

Pāteke were considered ‘nationally endangered’ until 2008, when their conservation status was changed to ‘at risk - recovering’ thanks to their population increasing. We’re part of a dedicated breed-for-release programme with our partners Department of Conservation Pāteke Recovery Group and The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust, to boost the wild population of these dabbling ducks that number around 2,000-2,500 individuals.

Next week they’ll be saying haere rā to Auckland and heading to Christchurch where they will be flocked with other ducklings before their release. You can help us to continue Wild Work like this by visiting the zoo or making a donation to our Conservation Fund.


These precious pāteke ducklings are growing up!

This #keepercam was taken by bird keeper Ashleigh when the ducklings were four weeks old