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Rare White kiwi chick born in New Zealand

May 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A rare white kiwi chick has been born at a national wildlife center in New Zealand.

The bird was born May 1 at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Center, but was filmed for the first time Thursday. It weighed about 8.8 ounces at birth.

Officials said white kiwis are seen in the wild about every three or four years.

The small, flightless birds are usually brown.

Members of a local Maori tribe have named the white chick Manukura, which means "chiefly one." The tribe's elders see the bird as a sign of new beginnings and a treasure.

Manukura is being hand-reared in the reserve's new kiwi nursery, and will remain closely protected for at least the first year of his life.

Native to New Zealand, kiwis face potential extinction from a range of introduced predators that are also killing many other native bird species.