A gruelling workout regime including treadmill sessions has helped an injured kiwi recover from two broken legs.
The brown kiwi, named Piwi because of his small size, has been recovering at Massey’s Wildlife Ward for several months.
Wildlife veterinarian Dr Lisa Argilla says Piwi was first admitted in December after being discovered near Mt Ruapehu with a broken leg that had healed badly. “We operated to fix the break and kept him here to recover for several months," Dr Argilla says.
In April he was sent to the Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park near Rotorua for further rehabilitation, but broke his other leg the first night he was there. “He was brought straight back here as it was quite a bad break. He needed a blood transfusion and more surgery.”
Since then, staff at the Wildlife Ward have been put Piwi through an intensive rehabilitation regime. His physiotherapy has included regular massages and sessions on a treadmill.
“The treadmill is good for his muscle development," Dr Argilla says. "He has been getting a 10-minute workout every couple of days, which has helped him regain strength in his legs. He was a bit reticent at first on the treadmill, but after a while he got used to it and it’s really helped.”
Staff from Rainbow Springs picked Piwi up today to take him back for further rehabilitation before he is released back into the wild.