Great conservation news! Two of our kākāpō in-patients have flown home this week!

Bravo and Bunker boarded their flight home early Wednesday morning, after spending 8-10 weeks respectively, at our Vet Hospital being treated for cloacitis. This inflammation of the cloaca (where they excrete waste from, and through which they also breed) is very painful and often leads to scabs forming and secondary infections.

The Department of Conservation's Kākāpō Recovery and their amazing team of rangers noted these issues on their sanctuary islands during the birds’ annual transmitter change and health checks, and then helped fly them up to our Vet Hospital for treatment.

One of many kākāpō that hatched during the bumper-breeding season of 2019, our veterinary services manager James describes Bravo as a “cheeky monkey” who is extremely playful. “He particularly enjoys putting leaves and towels into his water bath and then tipping the whole thing upside down”, says James. Also a 2019 chick, Bunker is described as a “gentle giant” who had much more severe lesions when he arrived but has healed quicker than other kākāpō.

We are proud to be able to help our friends and conservation partners at Kākāpō Recovery to care for these taonga which are unique and endemic to Aotearoa New Zealand. This year, we’ve treated eight kākāpō for cloacitis, including Huarangi who arrived more recently at our Vet Hospital but is responding well to treatment and should also return home soon. We’ll keep you updated on her progress!

You can learn more about our veterinary team and the amazing work they do, here