A kiwi that survived being hit by a car has drowned, less than a month after being released into the wild in Northland.
The three-year-old female bird, called Dark Star, spent two months recovering from a broken foot at Auckland Zoo after being struck by a car north of Whangarei in May, and was released back into the wild on 15 July.
A kiwi ranger for the Department of Conservation in Whangarei, Peter Graham, says when he went to do a health check on Darkstar on Thursday he found her at the end of a blocked culvert.
Mr Graham says it appears the bird crawled into the drain looking for shelter, but then got stuck, and drowned when the culvert filled with water.
He says more than 20 locals had turned up to see Dark Star handled for the first time since her release, and were devastated at the sad end to the story.
Mr Graham is hoping that, since it's nesting time for the birds in Northland, there will soon be good news of kiwi births.