Rare kiwi hatches at Toledo Zoo - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Rare kiwi hatches at Toledo Zoo

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Photo Credit: Toledo Zoo/Ellen Gorrell Photo Credit: Toledo Zoo/Ellen Gorrell

Toledo, OH – A female North Island brown kiwi chick hatched on January 12 at the Toledo Zoo. This is a first for the Zoo's Avian Breeding Center (ABC), an off-exhibit facility dedicated to breeding rare and endangered birds. Zoo staff is hand-rearing the chick, which as a precocial species was relatively mature and mobile soon after hatching.

An estimated eight zoos in the U.S. and 17 zoos worldwide exhibit the animals; few zoos outside New Zealand have successfully hatched kiwi. Through an international species survival plan, zoos worldwide are working together to preserve this species, which is endangered with decreasing populations in the wild.

The Columbus Zoo provided the Toledo Zoo with a fertilized egg in December, 2012.  "This successful hatching is the result of dedicated staff at both zoos working to help an endangered species," Robert Webster, the Toledo Zoo's curator of birds, said.

Aviary staff from both zoos worked together throughout the 73-day incubation. Kiwi chicks have the longest incubation period of any bird species, followed by an unusually long hatching process which often lasts several days (the Zoo's kiwi chick took five days to complete hatching).  "We're proud to welcome this chick to the Toledo Zoo," Robert Webster said, "and we look forward to introducing this fascinating species to the public."

Public exhibit details have not been finalized but are expected to be a part of the Wild Walkabout exhibit, scheduled to open on May 24 and feature the animals of Australia and surrounding regions. Rather than being on exhibit full-time, the chick's role will be as an animal ambassador, inspiring visitors to learn about the threats to survival that so many animal species face worldwide.

 

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