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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kiwi bird rehabbing on treadmill...

A clumsy kiwi bird has been using a treadmill to restore its strength after suffering two broken legs in separate accidents.

Piwi was plucked from the North Island's Mount Ruapehu after wildlife experts noticed the bird had a broken leg.

The four-year-old, only half the size of a normal kiwi his age, had little chance of surviving.

Piwi was transferred to nearby Massey University's Wildlife Ward, where veterinarians re-broke the leg so it could heal properly. It was then transported to a wildlife park for rehabilitation.

Unluckily for the kiwi, it soon broke its other leg and had to be rushed back to Massey University for further treatment.

There, vets and a local physiotherapist devised the unusual plan of using a treadmill to aid the bird's recovery.

"The first time we put him on he just sat there looking a bit disgruntled," Massey University vet Lisa Argilla told MSN NZ.

"But it didn't take long for him to catch on. It's really improved the muscle tone in his legs."

It is believed to be the first time a treadmill has been used on an injured kiwi.

Dr Argilla said the bird will have every chance of a healthy life when it returnes to the wild.

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