Turua the kiwi lucky to be alive after arranged marriage goes badly wrong

Turua the kiwi lucky to be alive after arranged marriage goes badly wrong

It was meant to be a match made in heaven, but it almost led to the death of Turua the kiwi.

In 2012 Turua was selected by rangers at Pukaha Mt Bruce, in Wairarapa, as a potential breeding partner for rare white kiwi Manukura. Unfortunately, Turua was never sold on the relationship.

He never truly fell for his bride, and ended up hiding from her.

He stopped eating, and finally had to be removed from their enclosure for the sake of his health.

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For a while, it all seemed so promising. Turua started calling to Manukura, and she started to dig a burrow in preparation for breeding.

It didn't last, though, and rangers noticed he was hiding at night and that his weight had dropped.

Turua was removed from the enclosure late last year, and soon started regaining weight and exhibiting normal behaviour again.

He was released back into the Pukaha Mt Bruce main reserve on March 11, and rangers hope he will find a mate among the other kiwi there.

Pukaha conservation manager Todd Jenkinson said breeding programmes did not always work.

It became clear it was making Turua sick, and rangers "needed to alleviate the stress on him", he said.

"He responded when we moved him to the pre-release aviary, foraging well and getting his health back. In the long term, it made sense to put him onto the reserve.

"We have a new potential partner for Manukura called Frickleton, who was raised at Willowbank in Christchurch, so hopefully this new arrangement works out."

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