Can a Kiwi Bird Be Kept As a Pet?

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The kiwi bird is a flightless bird native to New Zealand, being also the national symbol of this country. It has even been designated as New Zealand’s “honorary mammal”, as the only real native mammals in this country are two species of forest-dwelling bats. Kiwi birds do not have anything in common with kiwi fruits, even though many people are tempted to believe so. Their name comes from the Maori language and it imitates the male kiwi’s cry during the mating season. With their small bodies and long beaks, kiwis are extremely cute, which leads to many people wanting to keep one as a pet. If you wonder whether keeping kiwis as pets is a good idea, the answer is definitely no.

There are various reasons why kiwis do not make good pets. The first one would be that the kiwi is an endangered species. Experts estimate that it is disappearing at a rate of 5.8% per year, which is very alarming. Imported predators such as dogs, cats and stoats are mainly to blame for this fact. Habitat changes also have to do with kiwis being so endangered. Keeping endangered species as pets is not a good idea, since no one should take one from the wild, zoo or sanctuary to make it their companion. The second reason why kiwis do not make great pets is their behavior. Unlike other pet birds, the kiwi does not talk, nor does it sing. Kiwi birds would never sit on one’s lap or learn how to do tricks. Not to mention their bad temper! Even though kiwis are extremely cute, they have quite a temper and are not to mess with.

It may be hard to believe that such small birds can be so strong. Adult kiwis use their razor sharp claws to defend themselves when they smell danger, so they will not draw back when it comes to using those claws to bite humans. They are also very territorial and therefore protect their territory by chasing, biting and kicking intruders. Moreover, the kiwi bird is nocturnal, so it cannot be much fun to have around the house a pet that is only active at night time. And their owners will not be able to spend time with them, either. Additionally, building a reversed lighting setup for this bird takes an awful amount of time and money. So no, the kiwi bird cannot be kept as a pet.