Bird keeper Jasmine is currently helping with kākāpō health checks on Whenua Hou with our partners at Kākāpō Recovery and over the past week she's been able to check up on several of the juvenile birds that she helped to hand-raise when they hatched on the island earlier this year, like Pura-1-B-19, Ihi-3-B-19 and Queenie-3-A-19.

This involves using telemetry to carefully locate and catch up each bird to do a physical check of their eyes, ears, beak, body and feathers, make sure their transmitter is fitted comfortably and to take bloods when needed.

The grape-demolishing kākāpō you can see in this photo gallery is Awarua-3-A-19 who was hiding up a tree each time the team went out to check on her. She was another chick that was treated for aspergillosis at the zoo and Jasmine describes her as a “feisty, independent woman” who loved to climb up branches to the highest spots in her vet hospital pen. After spending so much time with her the team were well aware of Awarua-3-A-19’s fondness for grapes when she was at the zoo so they flew grapes over especially for her.

We’ve loved being part of this record-breaking kākāpō breeding season, putting our keeping and veterinary expertise to work helping our amazing partners at Kākāpō Recovery to boost the numbers of this precious Aotearoa species. Every time you visit the zoo, you help us to engage in Wild Work just like this – thank you!