By Emma Bean, Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter
Recently, I made an special extra effort to be at his release into the wild.
As soon as he hatched, I realised Kindara was a special chick. Even though his feathers were still wet from the hatching process, I could see he had unique feather colouring. It was only when Kindara dried off and fluffed up that I saw just how beautifully auburn he was!
The team at Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter have hatched over 1400 kiwi chicks and, while we’ve had some with slightly red feathers before, none had been ginger like this!
I was happy to see he gained fame online. I reckon there must have been quite a few other gingers who felt a special connection to Kindara too!
The next step in Kindara’s journey was to be taken to the Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary. Here, while protected by their predator proof fence, he was able to gain his stoat-proof weight.
All along the way he has been supported by his sponsor, Tauhara College.
Kindara was released back into the Karioi Rāhui, an ecological restoration project on the southern slopes of Mt Ruapehu. This is where he was taken from as an egg.
In addition to being big enough to defend himself against stoats (his number one predator), he has the further protection of 600 DOC 200 traps within the rāhui.
The traps are part of a joint initiative between DOC and Ngāti Rangi, which aims to re-establish kiwi on the mountain.
Now that Kindara’s home I hope he finds a mate. It will be exciting to see if he and his future partner will produce more ginger chicks!
Would you like to sponsor a kiwi?
If you are interested in learning more about how you can help save kiwi, or to make a secure online donation, please visit the Kiwis for kiwi website.
If you are specifically interested in supporting the work of the Kiwi Encounter please visit the Rainbow Springs website.