By Imran Ali
10:00 AM Wednesday Nov 18, 20153 comments
The ignorance of hunters using leg hold or gin traps that are laid on the ground are unnecessarily killing kiwis, a Northland bird expert has warned.
Northpower Native Bird Recovery Centre chairman Robert Webb this week received three seriously injured kiwis - two females and a male - which appeared to have been caught in traps that were not properly laid. All three had to be put down.
The 10 and 5-year-old females of breeding age suffered injuries to their leg and bill.
Mr Webb said the bird with a broken leg was brought by a landowner from Maromaku to the recovery centre on Maunu Rd over the weekend and the other female kiwi came from Parua Bay.
Another kiwi, a 10-day-old male, was found injured on the Mt Manaia walking track and brought in on Monday.
Checks revealed he had a compound fracture on his left leg, possible after it was caught in a trap.
Mr Webb said the bird could not be saved as infection had already set in the injured leg which would have damaged his kidney or liver.
"It's the worst part of our job to put down a bird which is a national icon due to human error. It's very hard to get the message through to people setting traps on the ground that it can kill a kiwi."