Did you know the biggest threat to adult kiwi are dogs? Recently, an adult kiwi from the Coromandel was brought to our Veterinary Hospital with a dog bite, and underwent a critical assessment.

Although dog bites can cause severe crushing injuries in any species, kiwi are particularly vulnerable, with their strong and unique smell making them especially interesting to dogs – even the most well-trained dogs with sweet temperaments. Their smell, combined with a kiwi’s inability to fly away, make for a devastating combination for this endemic species. 


An injured kiwi receives treatment at the Auckland Zoo Vet Hospital

Follow senior veterinarian Dr. An Pas as she reveals more about the zoo's latest wild patient.

Senior vet Dr. An Pas, and vet nurse Breeze Buchanan, completed a full health assessment with x-rays, ultrasounds, and blood tests. Our expert team has since determined there was a small fracture to the fibula, and a severe soft tissue injury to the leg.

After the initial assessment, this kiwi was transferred to Wildbase Hospital at Massey University for further critical and intensive care, and although its condition seems to be improving, it’s still too early to say whether this kiwi will survive and can be released back to the wild.

In areas known to be inhabited by kiwi, or other vulnerable wildlife, please keep your dog on a leash to prevent these horrific injuries. As Dr. Pas says, “it’s really hard to get them through trauma like this, it’s much better to avoid it”.