Kiwi leaves Springs for Christchurch

It's an exciting week for Forest the kiwi - she's just turned 5 and she's about to leave home for the first time.

Forest hatched at Rainbow Springs in the outside runs among native trees instead of in the park's incubation area, hence the name Forest.

She has been on display at the park for more than four years.

She was notoriously inquisitive and was often seen out and about in the Rainbow Springs Night Aviary, where she spent much of her time at the park.

Forest has had her health check and has been placed in quarantine in preparation for the move to Christchurch's Orana Wildlife Park in a few weeks.

She was a product of the captive kiwi breeding programme, which husbandry manager Claire Travers said played an integral role in the preservation of the native species.

"Captive breeding is very important as an insurance policy for wild birds and the captive population is managed by a national co-ordinator who matches up suitable kiwi for breeding around the country."

Ms Travers said it had been an exciting week for Forest.

"Forest is a real favourite with staff and park visitors because of her placid nature and huge appetite. She's infamous for scoffing her food - she has to have limited amounts so she doesn't get out of shape."

Forest was the 12th chick to hatch from the captive breeding pair, Tahi and Bracken.

Rainbow Springs recently hatched its 81st egg.

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- Rotorua Daily Post

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