USA: A kiwi bird has been abused at the Miami Zoo

USA: A kiwi bird has been abused at the Miami Zoo

Sydney. On Tuesday, a video emerged on social media of a kiwi living at the Miami Zoo. Guests were petting the New Zealand night bird under the bright lights. The video, which has since been taken down, sparked outrage in New Zealand. Because flightless birds are nocturnal and shy of bright light.

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In New Zealand itself, great efforts are being made to protect birds threatened by dogs and predators such as cats and chickens. The kiwi is New Zealand’s most famous native bird species, a biological curiosity that sometimes seems to have more in common with mammals than with other birds.

precious treasure

Nocturnal animals have a highly developed sense of smell, touch, and a good sense of hearing. They also stand on rather heavy and muscular legs, which account for nearly a third of their weight. New Zealand birds are definitely not made for flying. Their nest construction is also somewhat unusual: they dig holes in the ground.

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In New Zealand, birds are the symbol of the state. Their faces are adorned with many emblems and mottos: they adorn the one-dollar coin as well as the emblem of the country’s air force. For the indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maori, the bird is also considered a taunga, that is, a kind of treasure, and its feathers are woven, for example, kahukiwi, which is a cloak of feathers for dignitaries.

“He has offended a nation”

Video footage from the United States that went viral on social media on Tuesday and was reported by most New Zealand media outraged thousands. One petition, which was signed by more than 10,000 people within hours, advocated a better treatment for the bird, which was named Para. Even the New Zealand Nature Conservancy wanted to get involved, with some even demanding that the American ambassador should be recalled.

A Haast kiwi, the national bird of New Zealand. The animals are mainly nocturnal.

Miami Zoo, where Para was hatched as part of a breeding program, is now official Sorry. On Wednesday New Zealand time, Miami Zoo spokesman Ron Magill admitted in an interview with a local New Zealand radio station. RadioNZthat the zoo “made a big mistake here”. After receiving a barrage of complaints, he immediately went to the director of the zoo and said, “We have done a disservice to a nation.”

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“shameful” treatment

Indeed, the response in New Zealand has been very strong. For example, the petition stated: “The manner in which the Miami Zoo treats our national bird, a gift to the United States, is disgraceful.” The name Para comes from a Maori chief who dedicated his life to protection. The fact that his namesake’s nature and needs are now being mistreated is “abhorrent”. “The kiwi is our prized treasure, not America’s toy,” the petition stated, which used the Māori word “taonga” instead of the English “treasure.”

For Barra, the turmoil in New Zealand is paying off: the kiwis are now being kept in a darkened environment. In the future, he will no longer be exposed to bright neon lights. While the bird will not be returned to New Zealand, the visitors’ “kiwi encounter” will end immediately. The zoo’s apology letter also said it plans to create a new “special habitat” for the kiwi, where visitors can get to know the distinctive bird.

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