White fever as chick hits news

Mauriora, another rare white kiwi, hatched at Pukaha Mt Bruce. Photo / Supplied
Mauriora, another rare white kiwi, hatched at Pukaha Mt Bruce. Photo / Supplied

The Christmas arrival of a second white kiwi chick at Pukaha Mt Bruce has made headlines around the world, as did its predecessor, Manukura.

Mauriora hatched this month, after Manukura - the first white kiwi bred in captivity - hatched in May.

The new chick has made news websites, television news and newspapers in Australia, Germany, the United States, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Today.Com dubbed the bird a "special delivery from the stork'', and The Australian called it a "white Christmas present of a different kind''.

The kiwi's arrival also made headlines in The Berliner and the Jakarta Globe, among others, and a Google search of "Mauriora white kiwi'' brings up more than 10,000 results.

National Wildlife Centre chairman Bob Francis said he was delighted with the attention Mauriora was receiving, although Manukara's arrival had prompted even more.

"Manukura was just out of this world," he said. "But with Mauriora we always expected it to go well."

Mr Francis said white kiwi were an animal interest story, which people were always pleased to hear about.

"The kiwi is always seen as brown so the white kiwi is quite unique,'' he said. "Mauriora's been great for us.''

Mr Francis said the extra publicity was valuable for the organisation, particularly with the ongoing costs to keep the habitats predator-free.

"Both the kiwis have come at a really good time for us as we look to attract support,'' he said.

"We're still quite surprised how much international attention there has been. It's been picked up all over the world.''

Centre manager Kathy Houkamau said some lucky patrons had the chance to get a sneak peek of Mauriora before Christmas, before the chick officially goes on display for the next 10 days.

The centre was open from yesterday, drawing a large crowd to see the white chick who is fed about midday.

Ms Houkamau recommends people call ahead to guarantee they will see the chick.

- NZ Herald

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