A "coward" is being blamed for the shooting of a cockatoo at the Palmerston North Esplanade's aviary.
The cockatoo, named Cocky, was shot in his cage earlier this week.
He was recovering from two bullet wounds at the Massey University Wildlife Centre yesterday.
Centre director Brett Gartrell said Cocky was doing well. "He's obviously sore, he's lost some blood."
Whoever had shot the bird a was "coward" and "idiot".
"It's not sport, it's not brave, I have nothing but the deepest contempt for whoever did this."
Cocky, 36, is used by aviary keeper Peter Russell to educate school groups and visitors to the enclosure. Cocky was a friendly bird who reacted well to children, he said.
Yesterday morning Mr Russell noticed Cocky was favouring one leg and had blood on his feathers.
"He wouldn't grab with his leg," he said.
Mr Russell took him to Massey where it was found he had been shot twice.
"Why would you go and shoot a defenceless bird," he said.
"It's a real shame. It's not very good at all."
Palmerston North police had been informed and Mr Russell hoped anyone who saw people acting suspiciously around the aviary or Esplanade on Wednesday night or Thursday morning would contact police. Dr Gartrell said Cocky was shot with two low calibre rounds, possibly from a .22 or slug gun.
"In both cases the bullet has gone right through," he said.
The bird was expected to make a full recovery and Dr Gartrell said he hoped to have Cocky back with Mr Russell early next week.