U.S. Zoo Forced to Apologize

Nothing angers humanity more than the mistreatment of children or animals. 

Videos surfacing on Twitter have forced the Miami Zoo to formally apologize for their treatment of Paora, a New Zealand Kiwi bird. 

The zoo hosted a paid encounter for zoo patrons to visit with the bird and be able to touch and pet the kiwi. The problem with this paid procedure is that the kiwi is a nocturnal bird that sleeps during the day. 

The video showed zoo handlers keeping the bird awake during daylight so the paying zoo visitors could interact with the bird. When Paora ran to a closed box trying to find darkness, they would open the lid, exposing the bird to light. 

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipskins and the Department of Conservation strongly condemned the treatment of Paora, releasing a public statement expressing their concern for the kiwi’s treatment by the zoo. 

One New Zealander commented on Twitter that the kiwi’s treatment was appalling. Seeing this kind of treatment of this poor animal is very upsetting. 

The zoo apologized to the people of New Zealand, particularly the indigenous Maori people, who make up 15 percent of New Zealand’s population. 

The zoo admitted that the zoo’s Kiwi Encounter had not been well designed and will remake the enclosure to provide a specialized hospitable environment for Paora, keeping with the kiwi’s instincts and without contact with zoo visitors. 

The zoo said that this Kiwi Encounter is not commonly done and that Paora is housed in a quiet area, allowing him to remain in the dark and emerge in the evening hours if he desires. 

Reports are unclear why Paora wasn’t housed in a proper facility before the mistreatment was revealed. 

This report is particularly depressing since the Miami Zoo hosted the New Zealand Ambassador to the U.S. for a naming ceremony at the zoo. Zoo officials expressed that anything that offended the New Zealand people would cause them great pain and would work to resolve the situation.