Queenstown Kiwi Birdlife Park’s first-ever “miracle” brown kiwi chick has died.
The endangered baby bird, which hatched at the tourist spot eight days ago, died today of unknown causes, a statement from the park says.
A post mortem will be carried out at Palmerston North’s Massey University and results will be publicly released once they’re known.
The egg was laid by two young birds who started breeding as soon as they were introduced in May.
The pair, aged two and three, didn’t attempt to incubate the egg due to their inexperience. It was given to an older male brown kiwi before being transferred to a manual incubator in its final development stages.
Park staff dubbed the bird a “miracle” chick.
The pair went on to lay another two eggs – the latest last Saturday – but staff are still to learn if they’re fertile.
“Park staff are now focused on the care of two additional kiwi eggs,” the statement says.