June 2, 2010 / 3:09 PM / 9 years ago

Obese Sydney bird sent to birdy bootcamp

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

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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