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New Home for Weka Birds at Queenstown Kiwi Birdlife Park

The birds at The Queenstown Kiwi Birdlife Park said hello to two new friends on Tuesday as they welcomed a 3 ½ month old male and female buff weka.

March 1, 2012 - PRLog -- The duo from Canterbury are the first weka at the park in 5 years. Watchers crowded around as the pair were released into their new enclosure, wasting no time rummaging around the native bush and exploring their new environment.

The weka is a brown flightless bird about the size of a chicken and endemic to New Zealand. They are known for having a feisty and curious personality. The Department of Conservation approved the weka recovery plan in 1999, following the decline of weka populations on mainland New Zealand.

The buff weka population has thrived on Chatham and Piit islands, following their introduction in 1905.

Kiwi Birdlife Park wildlife manager Nicole Kunzmann said the pair could breed because they were unrelated and that was the aim for the near future. "Hopefully, next spring we will have the little pitter-patter of baby weka feet."

The male weighed 1.3 kilograms and had proved to be very feisty while the female was more relaxed at 630 grams, she said.

Their spacious new enclosure was sponsored by Crowne Plaza Queenstown, which will name the birds.

"With the sponsorship, we've been able to tidy up the enclosure and get the birds down here," Miss Kunzmann said.

Head keeper Paul Kavanagh said the birds were settling in well.


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Source:Andrew Macdonald
Location:Queenstown - Otago - New Zealand
Industry:Travel, Tourism, Environment
Tags:Queenstown, Nature, Wildlife, Tourism, Attractions
Last Updated:Mar 01, 2012
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