10 May 2011

DOC checks report kiwi found in Russia

11:07 pm on 10 May 2011

The Department of Conservation is following up international media reports that a kiwi has turned up at a Russian port.

Russia media reports say the brown kiwi was caught by locals after it was seen wandering around an ornamental garden for three days in the resort town of Sochi.

In the reports, expert suggests the bird came to Russia on a cruise ship, but port authorities say that is not possible.

DOC spokesperson Ruben Williams says the department is waiting for the reports to be confirmed.

Mr Williams says the department has been in contact with the Customs wildlife enforcement group which deals with the illegal animal trade.

The wildlife manager of Otorohonga Kiwi House says there is not a great demand for kiwi on the black market because they are not as gaudy as other native birds such as kea or kaka.

Eric Fox says photos in Russian reports suggest the bird is a brown kiwi which should not have much trouble adapting to the sub-tropical climate of Sochi.