Little spotted kiwi's incredible battle for survival against Toxoplasmosis

A little spotted kiwi may be the first of his kind to survive the deadly disease Toxoplasmosis.

After four months of fighting for his life at Wellington Zoo, the bird returned home this week.

For the kiwi, it's been a struggle to survive. He was left barely able to walk after contracting the debilitating disease.

"Without coming to us at the nest this infection would have been fatal," says Wellington Zoo veterinarian Emily Kay.

The three-year-old was brought to Wellington Zoo's Te Kohanga hospital from Zealandia's eco-sanctuary.

An MRI scan helped vets diagnose him with Toxoplasmosis - a deadly disease they believe no other kiwi has ever survived.

"The parasite has travelled to his brain and his body has tried to mount an immune response and that has caused his brain to stop operating normally," Kay says.

But because of the early diagnosis they were able to treat him - and he's bounced back.

Night-camera vision captured his midnight antics as he showed vets his progress.

"He has been having a kiwi party every single night, so every morning we check on him he's thrown his bedding everywhere," Kay says.

The final hurdle before he could head back to Zealandia was an obstacle course - and following numerous failed attempts he finally finished it.

After four-and-a-half months at Wellington Zoo's hospital, it was time for the little spotted kiwi to head home.

He was carefully loaded into the animal ambulance, then released back into his own pen.

However, with one fight over there could be another just around the corner.

"They are pretty territorial so likely someone's moved into his territory," says Zealandia lead ranger for conservation, Ellen Irwin. "We might have to negotiate that with other kiwi."

But for now, this little spotted kiwi has made it home against all odds.