As water gushed into his enclosure, Matt the kiwi raced to save his egg from the flood.
The North Island brown kiwi has been incubating an egg at Christchurch's Willowbank Wildlife Reserve for the past two weeks, assisted by his partner, Kamo.
When keeper Jemma Martin waded through the floodwaters in Matt's enclosure on Monday, she discovered the kiwi sitting atop his egg, above water level.
He was surrounded by floodwater from the torrential downpour on Sunday and had spent the night gathering leaves to place under his egg to raise it.
Martin and fellow keeper Blair Chapman dug a channel to drain the water out of the enclosure.
They also dried more dead leaves in an oven so that Matt would have enough in his enclosure to pad his nest further.
After 30 days of natural incubation the egg will be taken from the nest and incubated in the breeding centre.
Staff hope this will stimulate Kamo to lay another egg.
- The Dominion Post