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Kiwi Heavyweight Comes Out Of Shell

A big bouncing baby kiwi has just popped out of its egg, with a little help from a corporate sponsor.

The as yet un-named kiwi chick is the first to be hatched at Whangarei's Native Bird Recovery Centre since Bayer New Zealand came to the cash-strapped Centre's rescue in June.

Bayer is providing $24,000 over three years to ensure the Centre is able to meet its essential running costs, including the operational costs for the "Bayer Kiwi Incubation Unit", where the hatching took place.

Weighing-in at an estimated 414 grams, the new arrival is approximately 150 grams heavier than the norm for newly hatched kiwi chicks. A second chick is expected to see the light of day this week, whilst a further two eggs are likely to hatch later this month.

"It's always a great feeling when a new chick is hatched and you know it will be able to grow and develop in safety until it's ready to be released into the wild," says the Centre's Manager, Robert Webb.

"This year in particular, it's very heartening to see the first of the little creatures as it's just a few months since we were faced with the possibility of closure due to lack of funds. That would have meant the end of our incubator unit and of all the work we've put into preserving our national icon.

"It really is marvellous when a company like Bayer gets involved in protecting New Zealand's natural heritage. They really should be congratulating themselves over the birth of this chick," he adds.

According to Robert Webb, it costs approximately $500 to hatch and care for a single kiwi chick. Over the last five years, the Centre has incubated, hatched and nurtured more than 50 baby kiwis, whilst each year rescuing and nursing more than 13,000 injured native birds.

Bayer New Zealand's General Manager Richard Koreman says the company is delighted by news of the hatching.

"We're proud to be associated with the Native Bird Recovery Centre and to be helping Robert and his team of volunteers to continue their work of looking after our unique native wildlife.

"The first kiwi hatching of the year has come as a reminder of the important role the Centre is playing. We look forward to many more such happy events," he says

Auckland-based Bayer New Zealand is part of the worldwide Bayer Group of chemical and healthcare companies. In addition to financial sponsorship, Bayer is to provide the Whangarei Centre with a range of equipment, products and technical assistance.


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