Not even a full year after a Miami Zoo felt the wrath of New Zealanders for its Kiwi bird enclosure, a Japanese zoo is coming under fire for the same issue.
Footage captured by Saebyul Koata, an NZ tourist in Japan, shows a Kiwi being kept in a “bright and tiny” enclosure at Tennoji Zoo in Osaka.
“It is f*cking horrible,” Koata says in the video. “It’s hurting his eyes. There’s no flash limit and it’s very loud.”
In an interview with Newshub, she explained that visitors to the zoo were adding to the Kiwi’s stress.
“Everyone was loud. Everyone was tapping at the glass, kids and adults. There was flash photography".
“It is not thick glass - like they have with lions and jaguars and stuff. That is thin glass the kiwi is hearing through and it is stressed.”
The news publication asked Robert Webb of Whangārei Native Bird Recovery Centre, an expert on the Kiwi, about the effect such conditions have on the bird.
“The background noise is quite loud and they shouldn't be tapping the glass at all,” he said. “That's a no-no because it's the high-pitched sound which can upset a kiwi."
Newshub reported that they received a statement from Tennoji Zoo admitting the Kiwi enclosure “is not a suitable habitat for the endangered bird.”
In May last year, footage of Zoo Miami’s only Kiwi bird, named Paora, being handled by visitors in a brightly lit room was posted on the New Zealand subreddit. Titled ‘Kiwi bird being treated like a lap dog in Miami Zoo’, the post caused outrage and led to Zoo Miami’s inboxes being bombarded by human Kiwis.
Zoo Miami went on to build a "second-to-none" new home for Paora, so here's hoping the Japanese zoo will do the same.