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Wild Chick Kept Warm Down DOC Worker's Top for the Day

News Release

Rainbow Springs kiwi hatching season closes with arrival of chick

Rotorua, 22 May, 2013 – The 2012/13 kiwi hatching season is drawing to a close for the Kiwi Encounter team at Rotorua's Rainbow Springs, marked by the arrival of an unexpected chick from the wild.

The now 15-day-old chick was brought in from Whirinaki, in the central North Island after being carried around for the day safely tucked down the top of DOC worker, Diane.

Claire Travers, Kiwi Encounter Husbandry Manager says, "Diane set off to change a kiwi's transmitter and wasn't expecting to find the chick, so it had to piggy back around with her for the day nestled down her top in the warm while she completed her field work."

Looking at the hatching season overall Kiwi Encounter successfully hatched 118 eggs, 114 from the wild and 4 captive ones.

Claire says that one of the highlights of the season was the successful hatch of the egg from the Otanewainuku Trust - finally after 35 attempts kiwi pair Whetu and Maui 'got it right'.

"It's been yet another very successful and rewarding season for both the Kiwi Encounter team and the conservation of kiwi in general," Claire says. "So the incubation room is now empty and should remain that way until mid-September, and hopefully the team can have a bit of a breather.

"In saying that we still have 30 chicks on site that will remain with us until they reach about 1kg in weight and are able to fend for themselves."

Rainbow Springs' involvement in kiwi conservation began in 1995 with the arrival of an orphaned egg and the 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.

Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park is an icon of New Zealand tourism and has been open since 1932. Spread over 22 acres of Rotorua parkland, Rainbow Springs is a conservation and breeding haven for endangered New Zealand species such as kiwi and tuatara. The park offers a unique wildlife experience for visitors, who can see animals in their natural environment, both during the day and night. Features of the award winning tourist attraction include New Zealand’s first ‘open to view’ Kiwi hatchery, and a range of wildlife including trout, tuatara and native birds.

Rainbow Springs, Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua



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