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Weka attempts escape while in transit!

We travelled to the recent annual weka breeder's conference at the Kiwi House, Otorohanga by a circuitous route and as a result we were "in the right place at the right time" to transport an injured kiwi from the Department of Conservation at Ohakune to the Kiwi House.

We were travelling in our van — there's not many who could say that they've had a kiwi under their bed!

The annual conference is a valuable time of sharing information with other breeders, and decision making.

At this stage, we still await the Department of Conservation's approval to release weka on an island in the Hauraki Gulf.

Meantime, the number of weka in the aviaries on our property are starting to build up. We returned from the conference with eight young adult birds, and that caused us a bit of an adventure.

The birds were in various "pet carriers" and three birds travelling together in one container weren't getting along too well — there was a lot of scuffling around and several loud shrieks.

We decided that it would be best to transfer one of these birds into another less crowded container.

Of course, the inevitable happened — one bird shot out of the box and far in under the bed, at the back of the van.

We had to continue travelling home with it loose and, on arrival home, locked the van in a shed before we attempted to look for it. We found it safe and sound — and fortunately not too much mess!

All birds in the holding aviaries now have numbered metal bands and individual coloured plastic bands, and so they are ready for departure as soon as word of the new release site comes through.