Brave Marino an example of danger to kiwi
Marino, the kiwi attacked by a dog in bush above Kapawiti Road last October, received a big welcome when she was returned to Marunui Conservation last month.
Volunteers, neighbours, Brynderwyns residents, friends, sponsors and supporters who gathered to await her arrival from Matakohe/Limestone Island Sanctuary were delighted to see a fit and well bird.
Bernie Buhler, the Sanctuary’s retiring ranger, and Rolf Fuchs, DOC Whangarei Kiwi Ranger, who accompanied Marino, were able to provide facts about kiwi and the dangers posed by dogs. Most kiwi would not have survived the level of injuries she received but, five months on, the bite lacerations had healed, new feathers covered her back and rear and she can walk on the leg which was badly bruised.
“Marino’s survival is due to the dog owner’s quick action in rescuing the bird, taking her to the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre, the three week intensive care provided there and finally, five months recuperating on the island,” said Marunui spokesperson John Hawley.
The 40 people attending were able to watch Marino fitted with a transmitter and a small group helped carry her to the bush release site, including local donors Vanessa Willems and Mike Hynes of Harvest Blue Cafe and Bistro. They were thrilled with the experience saying “Long may we be involved in this amazing and incredibly important conservation program.”
Kiwi avoidance training for dogs is part of that program and a session had been organised for the day after Marino’s return. John Hawley said the response by owners wanting to protect kiwi that might wander into their properties was terrific. Thirty-two dogs, including pig, farm and domestic varieties, were registered. Some had undergone training previously while others were first timers.
Tom Donovan, contracted to DOC, began processing dogs at 9.30am on a strip outside of Marunui and the adjacent DOC Reserve. Shortly after, a woman was seen jogging out of the track from the reserve followed several metres behind by her off-lead dog. When asked if she had seen the four signs advising that No Dogs are permitted in the Reserve and that kiwi are present there, her reply was, “My dog wouldn’t harm a kiwi”.
Says John Hawley: “Her attitude was very disappointing and the example of Marino, nearly killed by a dog, was foremost in our minds. All Marunui and community efforts to protect kiwi can so easily be undone. We decry the actions of this selfish person and thank and applaud the many responsible owners who brought their dogs for avoidance training.”
RECOVERY: Bernie Buhler and Rolf Fuchs showing Marino to children at Marunui during her homecoming.