The nationally vulnerable Toroa Northern Royal Albatross that our Veterinary Team have been caring for has been returned to the wild with help from the Maritime Unit of the Wellington District Police. 

Maritime Unit and Wellington Zoo staff return the Toro to the wild

After arriving with a very low body condition and a deep injury to its left eye, the Toroa was nursed back to health by our Veterinary Team at The Nest Te Kōhanga.

The Department of Conservation brought the Toroa to Wellington Zoo after a member of the community found it injured near Moa Point. While the bird was in a pretty bad way when it arrived, we’ve been able to get it fit to return to the wild.  It had an injured eye which was too damaged to recover, so it was removed during a procedure to prevent the risk of infection. The bird recovered well from eye surgery and has gained weight and strength, so we’re glad to be able to return it to the wild.

There are reports of one-eyed Albatross hunting, foraging, and breeding in the wild – so the outlook is positive for this Toroa. When it came time to return it to the wild, the Maritime Unit stepped in to provide a lift, as Toroa usually need a long run up on the water in order to take to the air.

Returning the Toroa back to the wild is an important step for conservation efforts to save the species, which is classified as nationally vulnerable by DOC. Saving native wildlife is a crucial part of the work we do at The Nest Te Kōhanga, and returning native animals to the wild makes an important contribution to Wellington Zoo’s conservation work.

We’re grateful to the Maritime Unit for helping us get this bird out to sea so it can make its way back to the wild. Working with DOC and the Wellington District Police to get this bird back to the wild highlights the collaborative nature of conservation work.