17 Jul '11, 2am

Rare white bird lifts hopes for N.Z. kiwis - Yahoo! News via @yahoosg

An expectant silence hangs over the Pukaha bird sanctuary as hundreds of spectators await a glimpse of a rare white kiwi, a bird held sacred by New Zealand's indigenous Maori people. A collective sigh follows his unveiling to the crowd, although this appears to be prompted more by the chick's cute appearance than any mystical qualities. Resembling a fluffy white tennis ball with an elongated beak and stout, three-toed feet, the white kiwi has become a symbol of New Zealand's efforts to prevent its emblematic national bird from becoming extinct. The male chick, named Manukura -- meaning "of chiefly status" in Maori -- hatched on May 1 at the sanctuary north of Wellington, becoming the first white kiwi ever born in captivity. Pukaha's field centre manager Kathy Houkamau said the chick had sparked unprecedented interest in the programme to save the flightless bird species, wh...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/rare-white-bird-lifts-hopes-n-z-...

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