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Kiwi celebrates 30th birthday with mud & grub cake

News Release

Kiwi celebrates 30th birthday with mud & grub cake

Rotorua, 28 November 2012 – Mud and grub cake - with locusts for a treat - are on the birthday party menu for TK, a feisty kiwi who arrived at Rainbow Springs nearly 30 years ago.

Claire Travers, Kiwi Encounter Kiwi Husbandry Manager says, "She celebrates her 'birthday' arrival with us today. She arrived at the park fully grown and we estimate that she's actually between 33-40 years old.

"TK - short for Te Kaha - is a great display bird and often noisily calls in the mornings – a great treat for visitors! She's also a good digger and often flings soil around in her run. She's got a bill injury which means she is sometimes sniffley, but generally gets around digging and eating with no problems at all."

TK is known for her feisty attitude and even though she has lived in captivity for a very long time, she still puts up a struggle when handled, and tells staff off every morning when they get her up to 'show off' to park visitors.

Rainbow Springs Staff member and Kiwi Encounter volunteer, Teresa McCauley adds, "I watched her have her last health check. She is one hell of a bird!"

Claire LOVES TK and wears her old leg band as a ring (when she is not working and washing her hands every 5 minutes). She really admires her never give up attitude to life.

TK was caught in the wild in the Haupoto Reserve and weighed 1780g when she arrived at Rainbow Springs. She now weighs 1926g and is on permanent display in the Kiwi Encounter nocturnal house. She was originally a captive breeding bird, but is now purely a display bird.

Her 'service' to Rainbow Springs rivals a couple of fellow staff members who have been with the park for 30 years plus, Ray Punter 39 years and Bev Morrison for 32 years.

Rainbow Springs involvement in kiwi conservation began in 1995 with the arrival of an orphaned egg and the Kiwi Encounter hatchery has grown over the years to become the largest kiwi hatching facility in New Zealand, successfully incubating and hatching brown kiwi eggs from around the North Island.


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