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3 nēnē geese released into bird sanctuary after rehabilitation

Daniel Dennison

Three nēnē geese were released into the Hawaiʻi Island Nēnē Sanctuary after recovering from their injuries.

One had a toe injury, another had a broken leg, and the third had an amputated wing.

The birds were unlikely to survive in the wild without treatment.

"Usually, if they're not able to survive in the wild, they would have to be euthanized," said Raymond McGuire, a wildlife biologist with the Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

The Hawaiʻi Island Nēnē Sanctuary was originally built to receive 600 Kaua‘i nēnē that were relocated to Hawai‘i Island. The 100-acre sanctuary welcomes hundreds of nēnē each year to mate and nest.

"But luckily we have this predator-proof sanctuary where the Nēnē can be released even in that type of condition where they can survive, you know, they don't have to get harassed by predators, but they can still contribute genetically. They can still nest if they find their mate here," McGuire said.

Although one bird has a limp and another cannot fly, the three birds are expected to live out their lives in the sanctuary with few problems.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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