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Rainbow Springs in a flurry of kiwi activity

News Release

Rainbow Springs in a flurry of kiwi activity

Rotorua, 28 September 2012 – Rainbow Springs in Rotorua is in a flurry of kiwi egg and chick activity just in time for the school holidays.

Kiwi Encounter Kiwi Husbandry Manager Claire Travers says, "We've got about 33 eggs in the incubator room, including 7 that arrived by helicopter from the Maungataniwha Forest (in the Napier area), and the hatch room is filling up quickly as well."

Ms Travers says there's plenty for park visitors to see over the school holidays at Kiwi Encounter, with new chicks arriving steadily. The park is building up to a busy couple of weeks ahead, with all its usual wildlife shows - tuatara, water dragons, eels - and the addition of another daily free flight bird show.

And of course there's the excitement of the Big Splash that takes riders on a nine-minute narrated journey through time and the ecological evolution of New Zealand. The ride features state-of-the-art animation bringing to life dinosaurs, moa and the haast eagle, and an adrenalin boosting plunge at the end.

Kids will also love the evening outdoor screening of 'Madagascar Escape 2 Africa' at the free flight bird arena on Saturday 29 September. The park's Wairere Café will be open before the movie with goodies for dinner and movie snacks.

One of the latest kiwi chick arrivals needed a gentle helping hand after developing upside down in its egg. "The breach chick was in danger of suffocating because its beak didn't have the pocket of air to breathe through as it was trying to hatch upside down. Also because of its position the chick couldn't push its legs down and shoulders up to break the egg shell, so we waited until it was ready to hatch and then gave a helping hand," Mrs Travers says.

"The chick is doing fine, although it's a bit flighty and easily startled by noises so you need a firm grip when you pick it up."
Ms Travers added that the Kiwi Encounter team knew about the chick's breach position soon after it arrived at the park and they kept a close watch on its development and hatch. About 1 in 50 eggs that arrive at the park are breach.

Rainbow Springs 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 only 'open to view' Kiwi hatchery, and a range of wildlife including trout, tuatara and native birds.

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