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Grandad’s work is never done

Grandad’s work is never done

Rotorua, 22 August 2012 – Male kiwi Tika has never quite got his priorities in life right - or has he?

The brown kiwi has fathered twelve eggs with mate Ahi but has never assumed the traditional male role of incubating the eggs.

Claire Travers, Kiwi Encounter Kiwi Husbandry Manager says, "He isn't at all interested in sitting on the egg so grandad Tahi – Ahi’s dad – has taken on that role, is incubating the eggs and he's doing a fantastic job.

"The only challenge is that Ahi has just laid a third egg for the season, which is quite unusual as two are the norm, and grandad can't quite manage to sit on three so we've removed the oldest egg for artificial incubation.

"It appears that because Tika isn't occupying himself incubating eggs he's busy doing other things...and we keep getting eggs. While it's wonderful for the preservation of the captive kiwi population it's quite a strain on Ahi, laying such big eggs."

Claire says there are a couple of options including putting a fake egg in with the couple so Ahi feels she does not need to lay another egg as there is one there, or separating the two for a few months.

Ahi and Tika are part of Rainbow Springs' captive breeding programme at the National Kiwi Trust at Kiwi Encounter, and their latest offspring will be on public display at the park shortly after they hatch. Another one of their chicks McMurdo, hatched in February and is the smallest chick to ever arrive at the park weighing in at 238g.

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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