The kiwi chick hatched out at the New Zeland wildlife preserve recently and unlike his wild, and mostly brown, kiwi cousins in the wild, he will live a protected life. Manukura, which means “chiefly one” was hatched at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Center last month.
White kiwis do show up in the wild every few years, but the small, flightless birds are usually brown in color. The chick is set to be hand-reared in a special kiwi nursery at the park for at least the first year of its life. After that, it will either be kept at the reserve or let free in the wild. The decision has not yet been made as to which fate the little chick will have.
Kiwis in the wild are subject to extinction dud to several predators in the region that are killing off native bird species. Because of that, the local Maori tribe sees the white kiwi as a “tohu” or sign of new beginnings, as well as a “taonga” or a treasure.
Fourteen kiwi chicks in all were hatched this year at the park and to the park officials they are all a treasure indeed and could spell new hope for the survival of their species.