A NEW Zealand Kiwi which broke one leg after the other is mobile again after a unique rehab program involving a treadmill.
Tourism New Zealand reports that the tiny bird was found with a badly-healed broken leg near the rugged Mt Ruapehu - a spectacular and rugged North Island north peak known for its skiing and hiking.
The kiwi, just half the normal size for his age, was taken to vets at Massey University's Wildlife Ward at Palmerston North.
They rebroke his tiny limb to boost his chances of recovery and then released him for rehab to Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park near Rotorua.
But Piwi didn't spend long in his new home, breaking his other leg on the first night he was there - possibly because the muscles had atrophied due to the injury to his other leg.
He was sent back to Massey's vet science centre where vets dealt with blood loss from the injury by organising a transfusion from another Kiwi.
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.
But if Piwi was happy to be alive, he wasn't about to show it - especially when Palmerston North physio Fiona O'Connor decided that he would be the first Kiwi ever to use a treadmill to rebuild his wasted muscles.
The unique treadmill experience was captured on video provided to couriermail.com.au by Tourism New Zealand and also released on YouTube.
Wildlife vet Dr Lisa Argilla said Piwi was both grumpy and "particularly stubborn in true kiwi form, and just sat there [as if saying] I'm not going to do this".
"He'd bite carer's hands when he got fed up with walking. But he's quite a tolerant little guy," she said.
Tourism NZ says Piwi endured 10 minutes on the treadmill "every few days to strengthen his legs, as well as having physiotherapy with regular massage".
The workouts helped the little bird to the point where he has been returned to Rainbow Springs for further rehab before being returned to the wild.
Information for this story provided by Tourism New Zealand.
|Liveleak on Facebook|