“They’re seductive and silly.” ❤️️
The Wildlife Hospital in Dunedin, New Zealand, is dedicated to the care of the country’s indigenous animals. They accept a wide range of species, including reptiles, parrots, penguins, and sea lions. Everyone at the hospital enjoys working with the animals that come in, but the kkp chicks are their favorite.
The moss chickens, also known as kkp, are big, flightless, ground-dwelling, nocturnal parrots native to New Zealand. They’re one-of-a-kind birds that are also endangered, so everyone in the hospital, especially the newborns, keeps a watchful check on the kkp in the neighborhood. They have a lot of expertise raising chicks, so anytime there are kkp in need of assistance, they are frequently transported to Dunedin.
They just took in many young moss chickens and are striving to strengthen them so they can be released back into the environment.
Jordana Whyte, trust manager at The Wildlife Hospital in Dunedin, told us, “They were brought in from the wild for a few different causes.” “Two of their legs are fractured… Five of the chicks had aspergillosis, a fungus that causes respiratory problems. We expect to see some of this sickness during a large kkp breeding season because it is a naturally occurring disease. And there was one girl who simply… didn’t know how to kkp? Medically, there isn’t anything wrong with him. He hasn’t quite gotten the hang of things, so the Department of Conservation decided it would be best for him to spend some more time with us.”
These tiny moss chickens are full of character. The team just recorded several of the ladies learning to walk, and the results are really stunning.
“They’re just getting to the age when they’re turning into complete idiots,” Whyte said. “They’re seductive and silly.” We have one that is grouchy and sensitive; one that is preoccupied with biting our veterinarians’ and vet nurses’ toes; one that gets frightened by EVERYTHING — we nickname him Scooby — which is just ludicrous; and others who are just uncomfortable and delightful. By the conclusion of their stay with us, we’ll have gotten to know them all personally.”
The chicks at the hospital are presently between the ages of 5 and 8, and they are all acquiring the abilities they will need to thrive in the wild. The crew is ecstatic to get to work with these adorable tiny birds and enjoys seeing them develop.
“Working with these highly vulnerable birds is a luxury I can’t express,” Whyte added. “It’s extremely satisfying to witness the chicks we’ve kept since they were little grow bigger and stronger. We like seeing their personalities emerge, or seeing them do something like walking across the enclosure for the first time.”
Around 80% of New Zealand’s natural species are threatened with extinction, and the kkp are no exception. There are presently just 199 kkp remaining in the world. However, the crew at The Wildlife Hospital in Dunedin is doing everything they can to care for these creatures, so the moss chickens should be around for a long time.