Recent arrivals at Te Puia have been greeted with much anticipation and excitement by staff and manuhiri (visitors) alike, as two very special kiwi chicks join the Whanau (family).
The chicks shed new light on the Kiwi House after we recently mourned the loss of our much loved Kiwi, Kenny.
Born in December 2014, Sketch, a boy, will live alongside his new fellow female nocturnal friend, Marama, who hatched in September 2014. Marama, which means moon, was named through the Give a Little Foundation and Starship Hospital, by an eight year old patient bravely battling cancer.
The two little kiwi will be housed separately in Te Puia’s nocturnal house until they are fully grown. Manuhiri (visitors) will be able to catch a glimpse of the chicks either in their indoor enclosures, or via special cameras mounted in their sleeping boxes.
Te Puia senior husbandry officer, Vanessa Heaford, says the kiwi team is excited about the new members of the family.
“We are stoked to have them join us, it’s been a long process and we’ve worked hard to make it happen. They are special birds and it will be amazing for us (and our visitors) to watch them grow, contributing to the advocacy and protection of our flora and fauna that is our mandate.
“Conservation is our priority at Te Puia and as kaitiaki (guardians) since 1976 our role is to provide a safe, natural place for our national taonga (treasure) and nurture gently from afar.”
Current Kiwi resident Nohi, who is turning 10 this year, is set for release in the Tongariro Park later this year.