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Miami Zoo responds to accusations of ‘deranged treatment’ of its lone Kiwi bird

The American Zoo, which caused a stir on social media for improperly handling its lone Kiwi bird, has responded by addressing the concern about the state of the bird.

“We regret the unintentional stress caused by a video on social media depicting the handling of “Paora,” the kiwi bird currently housed within Zoo Miami,” wrote Ron Magill, Zoo Goodwill Ambassador and Communications Director, in reply to journalist and online personality David Farrier, founder of the blog site Webworm, where the response was posted.

“I immediately went to the zoo director, and I said, we have offended a nation,” the spokesperson added in an interview on national radio.

zoo Lone Kiwi bird

Kiwi bird, Paora, who was hatched in Florida in 2019, came from New Zealand and was given to The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia, which was then transferred to the Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens in March as part of a special loan agreement with The Smithsonian and the New Zealand government.

People started to raise concerns about Paora after videos were shared on social media where the bird was seen being patted and scratched like a pet in broad daylight, when the species is known for being nocturnal.

In a now-deleted post from Miami Zoo on Twitter, a “one-of-a-kind” encounter with the bird was offered for $25, where people could touch and take a photo with the bird.

To which Magill responded, “Please know that your concerns and those expressed by the community have been taken very seriously, and as a result, effective immediately, the Kiwi Encounter will no longer be offered.”

He also mentioned that the bird is doing well and in excellent health and is being kept in a quiet, isolated area until they finish the new habitat that will address the bird’s needs.

“Thank you for expressing your concern, love, and passion for this remarkable bird.  As an active leader in many global wildlife and environmental conservation initiatives, we are working each day to provide the animals within our care the respect and committed care they each deserve,” Magill concluded.


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