Thousands of New Zealanders were outraged by a video shared on Twitter showing the handling of a kiwi at a zoo in Miami, US. In just one day, “The Bird” had more than 200,000 views.
“It is absolutely terrifying to see how this poor kiwi bird is being treated at Miami Zoo. I am so mad about this. It stays awake during the day despite being a nocturnal species. Hides in a dark box and opens the lid,” one user writes. Twitter about the video.
The bird, named Pāora, was hatched in the United States and is part of a breeding program for this species. Since then, the zoo has allowed visitors to pay $25 to meet a kiwi.
In the movie, you see a hand scratching the bird and how the zookeeper put the bird back in its cage. Then the bird runs into a box, hides in a dark corner, and waits for the zookeeper to close the lid of the box.
“It stands there until it gets dark. Then you wait about five seconds,” says the zookeeper, and then opens the lid again to show visitors the bird, which, under cover of darkness, has made its way into the box.
The treatment of this poor kiwi at the Miami Zoo is appalling. I am very angry about this. It stays awake during the day despite being a nocturnal species. When they run to hide in a dark box, they open the lid. It is very disturbing to see Taonga being treated this way. pic.twitter.com/IDuq4gNN0c
– Holly (@HollyNeillNZ)
May 22, 2023
Prime Minister: We are proud of our national bird
New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi, is a nocturnal animal. They lack the ability to fly and spend their days in burrows in the ground.
Soon after the video went viral, a petition was started to save the bird from the zoo.
The petition states that he is “exposed to strong fluorescent light four days a week and manipulated by dozens of strangers who pat him on his delicate mustache, laugh at him, and flaunt him like a toy,” which in just one day received more than 12,000 signatures.
After the incident, the zoo received a lot of upsetting complaints and comments and has now issued an apology. Zoo spokesman Ron Magill said in an interview that the zoo “made a huge mistake” and that he “went straight to the director of the zoo and said they upset an entire nation,” The Guardian wrote.
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins commented on the incident, saying, “It shows that New Zealanders are proud of our national bird.”
The zoo has now stopped allowing visitors to meet the bird and says Paura will now avoid exposure to bright fluorescent light.
“We have listened to everyone who has written to us – and many have done so,” says a zoo spokesperson, according to The Guardian.
Also read: Here are all the news at Boras Zoo in 2023
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