The mayor of Far North District, Yvonne Sharp, has urged dog owners to keep their pets under control after her husband found a juvenile kiwi weighing less than 400 grams lying dead near their home at Opito Bay, Kerikeri, Northland yesterday (Wed Jan 25).
Puncture marks on its chest suggested the kiwi had been killed by a dog and this was confirmed today by Department of Conservation scientists.
She said: "We felt quite devastated when John found the little fellow as it sounded like there were two of them right down in the bay the night before which was just fantastic. We live in a very special area and while I appreciate the companionship that dogs offer it is possible to enjoy your pet and protect our NZ icon.”
She urged dog owners in the area, which is a kiwi zone, to keep their animals controlled at all times. She is herself a dog owner and it was while walking their dog that her husband found the kiwi. He carried the still-warm body home and then took it to Greg Blunden of the NZ Kiwi Foundation at nearby Aroha Island.
Greg pointed out that another juvenile kiwi was killed by a pet dog at the end of Wharau Road, Keikeri, just three weeks ago.
“Kiwi protection work is successful - young kiwi are being seen in many places,” He said. “It is incredibly disappointing that irresponsible dog owners are destroying the efforts of hundreds of local people in trying to look after our kiwi.”
Yvonne Sharp agreed: “Even if kiwi don't particularly mean anything to the dog owner they should ask their kids what kiwis mean to our young generation and act responsibly for the generations of the future.”