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Obese Sydney bird sent to birdy bootcamp
June 2, 2010 / 3:09 PM / 7 years ago

Obese Sydney bird sent to birdy bootcamp

<p>Taronga Zoo vetinary nurse, Gemma Watkinson, holds an overweight, adult, female laughing Kookaburra before weighing it at the zoo's medical facility in Sydney June 2, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne</p>

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian kookaburra bird is undergoing personal training after growing too fat to fly because she ate too many sausages.

The kookaburra got into trouble with her weight when residents at a Sydney park began feeding her sausages at barbecues.

The porky kookaburra weighed in at 565 grams (1.2 pounds), nearly 40 percent heavier than a normal adult bird, rendering her so unfit she couldn’t fly.

“Out in the wild she’d eat a whole small animal such as a mouse or skink, but butcher’s sausages are just too much of a good thing,” said Gemma Watkinson, Sydney’s Taronga Zoo wildlife hospital nurse.

A Sydney resident brought the bird to the zoo after spotting dogs chasing her along the ground.

“The kookaburra’s been down at the rehabilitation aviary for a couple of weeks on a special ‘lite n‘easy’ diet designed by our bird keeper,” said Watkinson.

Following a rigorous exercise regime up to three times a day with a personal trainer, the kookaburra is winning her battle of the bulge, but still a little more weight to shed before being ready to be returned to her native habitat.

“We’ve fitted the temporary home out like a ‘bird gym’,” said Watkinson.

Reporting by Pauline Askin, Editing by Michael Perry

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