We’re over the moon to report that kākāpō adult Cyndy and juvenile Huhana-2-A-19 are returning to their island homes after more than 6 months of critical treatment at the Auckland Zoo Vet Hospital, for respiratory disease.

Cyndy arrived at our vet hospital in late May after her initial blood results showed signs of an infection. Subsequent CT (X-ray) scans confirmed lesions consistent with the fungal disease aspergillosis were present. One of the original birds from Stewart Island that set up the founding populations at Whenua Hou and Pukenui, Cyndy holds valuable genetics for her species. A distinguished bird with brilliant green feathers, Cyndy was originally found as an adult in 1987 so her exact age is unknown – though it is thought that these birds could potentially live up to 90 years of age!

Juvenile Huhana-2-A-19 has also been receiving treatment since May as she initially shared a nest with adult Hoki, who had contracted aspergillosis. Huhana-2-A-19 was considered to be at high risk of disease so was transferred to our hospital for assessment and unfortunately was confirmed as having respiratory disease as well.

Now three kākāpō remain, and are all receiving treatment from our expert staff – juvenile Esperance-2-B-19 and adult Margaret-Maree are still in care following aspergillosis diagnosis. Juvenile Kuihi-2-A-19 returned to us for a health check and is staying to gain some weight before returning to island. We’ll keep you posted on their progress in the coming weeks.

If you missed our recent Kaitiaki for Kākāpō mini-series showing the incredible (and global!) team effort lead by our friends and partners at Kākāpō Recovery,  you can watch it here.


Kaitiaki for Kākāpō - Part 1

Get a first-hand view of the tremendous mahi that has gone into the 2019 kākāpō breeding season


Kaitiaki for Kākāpō - Part 2

Conservationists join together to treat kākāpō chicks falling ill from the fungal disease aspergillosis