In our April newsletter, we announced we were giving away a trip to the Rotokare Scenic Reserve in Taranaki, where a couple of Trade Me members could meet Kevin the kiwi.
Kevin was hatched at Kiwi Encounter, Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, and then moved to Rotokare Scenic Reserve in October 2017, for the next stage in his life.
So we asked people to tell us who they'd take to meet Kevin and why. The winning entry was a doozy. "We go to Lake Rotokare frequently. It's such a magical place. We love it there! We've been meaning to go on a full moon to see if we can spot a Kiwi with our family. We would love the opportunity to come & see the wonderful Kiwi... It would be amazing."
On a beautiful clear morning in May, winners Aimee and Sam met up with the team at Rotokare Scenic Reserve to seek Kevin out for his scheduled health check.
Sanctuary Manager Simon Collins said, “Our amazingly keen Trade Me experience winners were well up for the task, and fitted-in perfectly with our volunteer team. Kiwi conservation converts for sure!”
The team found Kevin in a large clump of cutty-grass, where he made the team work hard to secure him. He wasn’t very pleased to be woken up but the team were able to safely and promptly perform their health checks on him and let him go on his way again. The team weighed and measured him (he has gained a significant amount of weight since the last check in March) and they were able to tell that he has been eating plenty of protein-rich insects. They noted that his dexterity was good, too.
What was clear to Aimee, Sam and the photographer is the passion of the people who work at Rotokare.
Aimee described the day as an amazing experience. “It was eye opening to see how much work goes in to Lake Rotokare reserve and keeping species like this safe from predators.”
We’re thrilled to see that Kevin is thriving. He is just one of some 110-120 kiwi currently at Rotokare Scenic Reserve. The team there work tirelessly to look after the 40+ species of native fauna they are entrusted with.
Kevin’s story illustrates how important the work of kiwi conservation groups is. Kiwis for kiwi are stalwarts of kiwi conservation initiatives and were the driving force for us telling Kevin’s story.
Kevin is just one of many who are cared for as part of the Taranaki Kohanga Kiwi at Rotokare project - a partnership between Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust and Taranaki Kiwi Trust. A big thank you to them for making this happen!
Stay tuned for another update on Kevin.
Trade Me have been supporting Kiwis for kiwi since 2012, and thanks to Trade Me members support through rounding up their success fees, have raised over $120,000 to support kiwi conservation.