This has been an incredible week for our vet hospital team, keepers and volunteers at Auckland Zoo, and our amazing conservation partners Kākāpō Recovery, to see our last four remaining patients return to their island homes with a clean bill of health!
On Monday Toiora and Huhana-2-A-19 returned home and yesterday adult kākāpō Margaret-Maree and juvenile Kuihi-2-A-19 were flown back to Whenua Hou as VIP Air New Zealand passengers.
An original ‘founder’ bird, Margaret-Maree arrived at the Auckland Zoo Vet Hospital early last year for assessment by our vet staff as it was suspected, and later confirmed via CT scans and blood tests, that she was infected by the deadly disease aspergillosis. Watch this Stuff interview with Auckland Zoo vet Dr An Pas discussing the crisis here.
Juvenile Kuihi-2-A-19 was also found to have aspergillosis and after being successfully treated at Auckland Zoo she returned home in August last year. After inhaling a small amount of food on the island she came back to the zoo for further care and is now ready to return home. Our vets describe her as a lovely bird who is very tolerant of her treatments and easy to handle.