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Two Kiwis meet in DC

Two Kiwis meet in DC


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New Zealand Ambassador Roy Ferguson, Kathy Brader, Senior Bird Keeper, National Zoo, with sixth grade students from Shepherd Elementary School.

Please find below various pics of a North Island brown kiwi, Manaia, hatched at the Smithsonian Institute's National Zoo in Washington in February, which are available for use. It is still too young to be on public display, but the chick was shown to the children today during an educational visit arranged by the Embassy.

The chick, named Manaia, was born on February 13 - the same day New Zealand's new Ambassador Roy Ferguson arrived in Washington.

It is only the second kiwi hatched at the National Zoo, which in 1975 became the first zoo to hatch a kiwi chick outside New Zealand. That 30-year-old bird is one of five kiwis at the zoo, including the new chick. Preliminary dna tests indicate the chick is a female. Her father is Maori, aged 20 years, and her mother is Nessus, 9 years.

The children are sixth-graders (aged 11-12) from Shepherd Elementary School, a public school in Washington, which has been ``adopted'' by New Zealand's Embassy as part of a Washington DC school programme.

As part of the programme, in which they learn about NZ, they were asked about the unique characteristics of kiwis. One student thought a kiwi grew to the height of three men -- so the National Zoo visit was set up.

More information on the zoo's kiwi programme is on the website: www.nationalzoo.si.edu/ and refer to the bird house section.

The pics are supplied by Embassy employee Tony Alexander.

ENDS


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New Zealand Ambassador, Roy Ferguson with three-month old Manaia


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(L-R) New Zealand Ambassador Roy Ferguson, Kathy Brader, Senior Bird Keeper, National Zoo, and John Berry, Director National Zoo, with sixth grade students from Shepherd Elementary School


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New Zealand Ambassador Roy Ferguson, with wife Mrs Dawn Ferguson, and Kerry Bothwell of New Zealand Embassy, with sixth grade students from Shepherd Elementary School

ENDS

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