Sparky the Kiwi educates residents at Chalmers Resthome

Owen Henry with Sparky
Owen Henry with Sparky

Four generations got to meet a one-legged kiwi at Chalmers Resthome.

“I was absolutely thrilled to meet Sparky,” said Owen Henry.

“Today was the first time I’ve actually seen a live kiwi.  I have grown up with a stuffed kiwi called Okoki.”

“When Bob put Sparky in the basket of my scooter it was great as I got to see him very close up and touch him.”

“I couldn’t believe he just sat there.”

Some of Owen’s extended family came to visit Sparky too.

Owen Henry with some of his extended family.
Owen Henry with some of his extended family.

“It was great to have four generations of my family visit and be able to share the experience.

“I’ve heard kiwi at my son’s farm at the back of Oakura and he has seen signs of them but we have never managed to see one.”

This is the first time that Sparky has visited a resthome in Taranaki.

“Not many people of my generation have had the opportunity to see a live kiwi so today was very special,” said Owen.

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Sparky the kiwi visits Taranaki

Sharyn and Alex Smart
Alex and Kate Smart



Recently I got to share an amazing experience with my children.

We got to meet Sparky a very special North Island brown kiwi.




Sparky arrived at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre in 2002 after losing his leg in an illegal gin trap.

Founders Robert and Robyn Webb started the Centre in 1992 and now rescue then care for and rehabilitate over 1,200 birds each year.  They also spend many hours on education and community projects.

Sparky was three and a half months old when he arrived from a forest up in Keri Keri after being caught in a gin trap or possum trap.  When it catches the kiwi the trap jaws are so powerful they will either break the leg or cut it nearly right off.  The result of that is the kiwi would normally have to be put down.

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