A new milestone has been reached at The National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa; the 1800th kiwi chick has hatched, and it occurred during "Save Kiwi Month".
The hatchery, previously known as Kiwi Encounter, has been renamed and is undergoing a major upgrade of its facilities and experience.
Based at Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua, the hatchery will reopen to the public on November 12 with a new tour, complemented by an interactive kiwi experience at Rainbow Springs where visitors can see and learn about kiwi.
"We usually hatch about 130 kiwi eggs each year and we expect to be able to hatch more with the new brooder room provided by Kiwis for kiwi," kiwi husbandry manager Emma Bean said.
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The 1800th chick, from Maungataniwha, hatched on October 6.
"It's special that we've reached this milestone and even better that it happened during Save Kiwi Month," Bean said.
Rainbow Springs business manager David Hennigan said people should visit Rainbow Springs to see the hatchery and the park's new kiwi experience.
"There aren't many places where you can see, learn about and help make a difference for kiwi. Come and find out the extraordinary efforts we take to ensure our national icon will be around for future generations," he said.
The National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa is the national leader in kiwi husbandry, egg incubation systems, hatching techniques and kiwi chick rearing.
Rainbow Springs' new kiwi experience, Kiwi Burrow, is included in the entry price for the park, and a hatchery tour can be added for $10, which is donated to the hatchery.
• To donate to help save kiwi, go to: www.nationalkiwihatchery.org.nz. There are several donation options – from feeding a kiwi chick for a month ($35) to hatching and naming a kiwi chick ($2787).