'Baby explosion' at Willowbank
It could be a maternity hospital - there are babies crying, mothers in labour, fathers pacing and "midwives" anxiously watching.
But it is the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, where a "baby explosion" has seen more than 20 species give birth in the past week, including the critically endangered kea and tuatara.
Twin lemurs, cape barren goslings, kea chicks, flemish giant rabbits, tuatara and indian ringnecks were among the babies born.
"The staff are like midwives. They stress about it, just like midwives, and when things are hatching or giving birth they are right there with them," head keeper Shaun Horan said.
He said the staff's workload had gone from "busy to busy, busy, busy" because they were providing extra food and constantly checking on the animals.
Native keeper Jemma Martin said four tuatara hatched this week.
"When they nap they look like they're dead and your heart skips a beat," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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