Kiwi Couple get it Right After 35 Attempts

Posted by Travel News in Travel News
Monday, 22 April 2013
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Kiwi pair Whetu and Maui have finally 'got it right' and may soon be parents after 35 attempts, with Kiwi Encounter's hatchery at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua just welcoming the arrival of the first viable egg from the pair.
 
Kiwi Encounter Kiwi Husbandry Manager Claire Travers says, "Parents Whetu and Maui are of prime breeding age and although Whetu has laid 35 eggs this is the first viable one to arrive, it's very exciting.
 
"In the past the pair hasn't been too good at looking after the eggs out in the wild before they come into us, not keeping them warm and leaving the enclave for long periods.  Dad has 'got-it' now and kept the egg nice and warm and covering the entrance to the burrow."
 
The egg is from Otanewainuku, an area of bush between Rotorua and Tauranga that's managed by the Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust.
 
The egg is a late season arrival and joined by another late egg, both of which should hatch during the school holidays.
 
The other egg was delivered by DOC a couple of weeks ago after being uplifted from its home in Karioi Rahui, between Tongariro and Ohakune.  It's the first egg for the season sired by dad Karaka and is due to hatch in the first week of the holidays.
 
"So these little guys – all things going well – they will be our 'first and last' for the season. The eggs are in incubation and being regularly checked, all seems to be progressing fine with both of them," Claire says.
 
The chicks will be on display soon after they hatch at Kiwi Encounter in the park, which is an interactive kiwi display.
 
Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter is the largest hatchery of North Island brown kiwi and successfully hatched its 1,000 kiwi named Mille - French for one-thousand - in September last year.  The kiwi eggs are kept safe and warm until they hatch, allowing the newborn chicks to get a strong start in life away from predators such as stoats and cats.  Once the chicks reach a healthy weight of around 1kg they are returned to the wild.
 
If you are interested in sponsoring a kiwi visit www.rainbowsprings.co.nz for more details.

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