Born in the USA - a kiwi destined for life in spotlight

Last updated 09:33 14/03/2008
Smithsonian National Zoo
WELCOME, STRANGER: The rare new star of the Washington DC zoo, a North Island brown kiwi.

Relevant offers

A fluffy little kiwi has been born, far away from a homeland it will never see.

The rare North Island brown kiwi is the new star of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC.

Keeper Kathy Brader said the bird, as yet unnamed, hatched late last week. It was behaving differently from Manaia, another kiwi born in 2005, as part of the zoo's captive breeding programme, she said.

"It is extremely busy and active, and was trying to walk and stand on day one. It actually jumped two inches on Sunday morning."

The chick – its sex has yet to be determined by dna testing – is the third hatched there. In 1975 the zoo was host to the first kiwi born outside New Zealand.

The egg was incubated for a month by the chick's father before five weeks' incubation by zoo staff before the hatching.

In New Zealand the endangered brown kiwi population is estimated at 25,000 and falling.

The Smithsonian kiwi is destined for Internet fame – its every squawk will be monitored by a webcam to be set up at Birds/Kiwi/default.cfm.

Kiwi Recovery Programme coordinator Hugh Robertson welcomed the overseas addition.

About 30 kiwi were kept at zoos overseas, but that number was slowly dwindling.

Kiwi were no longer sent overseas, and those already away from home would not be allowed to return because of biosecurity risks, he said.

The Conservation Department had lent expertise in kiwi care to overseas zoos. "So hopefully that's helped in this case."

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should an employee be allowed to keep their job despite testing positive for cannabis?

Only if it's a first offence

No, they should be dismissed

Yes, if they can perform their job then what's the problem

Not sure

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Follow us

Contact us Dominion

• Reporters: News, Business, Sport, Features
• Newsroom 0800 366 7678
• Website ideas:
Email or tweet us
• Place an ad: Email or call 04 474 0000
• Subscribe: Email or call 0800 50 50 90
• No paper: Call 0800 50 50 90
Start or stop your paper
• View the Digital Edition
• Make your homepage

Family Notices
Deaths - dom

Death Notices

View obituaries from around the region.