18 May 2019

Kiwi chick hatched at American zoo 'appears healthy'

7:53 pm on 18 May 2019

A North Island brown kiwi has hatched at a zoo in the United States.

The female chick hatched on 21 March at Toledo Zoo's Avian Breeding Center.

Toledo Zoo curator of birds, Chuck Cerbini, said the egg was laid on 9 January at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, which is affiliated with the National Zoo in Washington DC.

It was then driven to Virginia and the Avian Breeding Center, where it eventually hatched.

The chick is the second born at Toledo Zoo.

A brown kiwi hatched at the zoo in December 2016, and was called Kirihimete.

The new female chick will also be given a Māori name, which Mr Cerbini said is a sign of respect to the people of New Zealand.

"With Toledo Zoo's financial help and through extensive predator-control programmes, active research, egg fostering, education initiatives and habitat protection, Kiwis for Kiwi, a charity dedicated to reversing the bird's population decline, is helping to ensure the long-term survival of this unique bird," Mr Cerbini said.

Another female brown kiwi chick was hatched at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute on 3 February.

It initially struggled to stand, but was aided by laser therapy.

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