Rare brown kiwi hatches at the San Diego Zoo

One of the world’s rarest birds has hatched at the San Diego Zoo’s Avian Propagation Centre. After 78 days in an egg a rare kiwi chick has emerged from its egg with the assistance of keepers.

For the most of the 78 days the father sat on the massive egg with assistance from the female. The kiwi chick will normally poke a ring around the top of the egg so it can emerge. Unfortunately this chick poked its hole in the bottom of the egg and poked its legs through. Staff monitored the egg hoping it would hatch on its own but it was unsuccessful. They tapped the bottom of the egg hoping this would help but this didn’t help so in the end keepers peeled part of the egg shell off so it could finally hatch.


This hatchling was important as it is the first to take place at the San Diego Zoo in 10 years. There are currently only 6 zoos in the United States which are working to save these endangered birds. At the zoo there are 4 brown kiwis living in off exhibit areas.

The zoo’s curator of birds, David Rimlinger said, “Kiwis are very unusual. When they hatch, they just sleep for several days. They don’t eat, we don’t feed them, and the reason is they have a lot of the yolk still inside their body and they absorb that for several days.”

Animal care staff members are monitoring the chick to make sure it stays healthy. They will take weights and observations while it is a brooder for the next few weeks.

“We will just monitor the chick to make sure the temperature and humidity is right (in the brooder) and in several days we will start feeding the chick,” added Remlinger.

Keepers are looking after the chick as they hope the parents will lay another egg.

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo

By Cale Russell

TheAnimalFacts.com is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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