I live by a river and despite being warned by everyone not to feed the Pukeko, I do. I do not often heed warnings. So months later, the family or two families of pukeko arrive for their daily bread. I have spent some time observing them now, and have the idea to make a mockumentary about them, aka Jane Goodall and Elsa the lion in Born Free. I know I will probably not do this, as I have a lot of ideas and don’t often actually do them. One of the pukeko has a broken leg. Likewise, I have been meaning to do something about this for weeks. After talking to my elderly neighbour — all my neighbours are elderly as at the age of 50 and with my trans son, I live in a gated community slash retirement village. But that’s another story.
After calling the Department of Conservation who direct me to the RSPCA, I learn a vet has to treat wildlife free of charge and so I set a trap. I already have a trap as my aforesaid neighbour and I are sick of our cats being traumatised by the local bully cat. Our next step is to put something in writing to his owner as he doesn’t seem capable of keeping his cat in at night. I set the pukeko trap, attaching bread to the hook inside the cage. The vet is open for another few hours this Saturday morning.
Unfortunately I forget and leave to go shopping with my son. Upon our return the pukeko had taken the bait, and was trapped in the cage. The vets is shut by now and I contemplate taking it up to my boyfriend’s farm where he could shoot it. The pukeko is in such a flap and so am I as it is upset and I don’t know how to open the cage — I was only instructed on how to set it. My levelheaded son opens it and we set the pukeko free and he half flies, hops off.
I wonder if it will return and fall for the same trap again as we need to sort its leg out. The other — and possibly more sensible plan in hindsight is to simply drop a large box on it when it is outside the window. The softer and dark box option may be the better one. I have this thing whereby I like to do things ‘properly’ but then that plan can backfire I have found from experience.