Tahu the jilted takahē back at the vet but lucky in love

by Kim Bowden - Jun 05, 2024

A native bird whose story of survival and jilted love captured the attention of many is back in the care of Dunedin vets - with a new mate in tow.

Tahu the takehē was booted out of her home in the Greenstone Valley by a bolshy newcomer who stole her old flame back in March.

But it appears Tahu has been lucky in love since her misadventure, and she now has a new partner - Tuatapere, or Mr T to his friends.

In May, news broke of Tahu's incredible 40-plus kilometre journey over a number of weeks to be rescued near the Department of Conservation campsite at Mavora Lakes, underweight and having sustained life-threatening injuries after being attacked by a ferret or large stoat.

Now, Tahu has been delivered back to the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital, where she was originally nursed back to health after her epic hike.

She was discharged with a clean bill of health to the Burwood Takahē Centre, with hopes of her being paired with a new mate and returned to the Greenstone Valley in spring.

However, staff there noticed she had begun limping again, so returned her to the hospital for a check up.

In a twist of fate, Mr T was delivered to the hospital too with a nasty head wound.

Perhaps these two new lovebirds could not bear to be apart?

Staff at the hospital have provided an update online, saying both their "VIP guests" are doing well and responding to treatment.

"These two are a pair so it's unlucky (or lucky) that they both needed vet care at the same time," staff write in a message to Facebook.

"Mr T is a bit naughty and scratched all the stitches out of his head after his first surgery so he now has to wear an e-collar or 'cone of shame'. Luckily he doesn't seem too fazed by his new fashion accessory.

"It is always a privilege to work with these special birds and provide veterinary care when they need it."

Main image (Facebook/Dunedin Wildlife Hospital): Mr T in is 'cone of shame' with new mate, Tahu.

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