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Manukura – The Rare White Kiwi From New Zealand Dies

Manukura is a rare, white Kiwi and the first of such a kind. She was the first Kiwi to hatch in captivity. Unfortunately, she died after surgery at hospital. Fans on social media are grieving over the issue. Wildlife conservationists are also saddened by the occurrence. Manukura was born in captivity in Pukaha National Wildlife Centre in New Zealand’s North island in the year 2011. Usually, Kiwi birds have brown feathers. She is a result of a rare genetic mutation which is called Leucism. In early December, rangers noticed that Manukura was not eating properly and losing weight.

Manukura - The Rare White Kiwi From New Zealand Dies
Manukura – The Rare White Kiwi From New Zealand Dies

About The Rare White Kiwi

The name ‘Kiwi’ means of ‘Chiefly status’. Manukura was hailed as a huge blessing by the locals Rangitane and Wairarapa tribe. They saw her as a unifying symbol. She has also inspired a book by Joy Cowley, which is one of New Zealand’s most popular children’s fiction authors. She also gave way to a slew of soft toys with the same looks. The bird kept on entertaining viewers and the audience since the last 10 years. Moreover, she was the reason of delight for numerous people for the cute antics.

White Kiwis exist in the wild, but genetic mutations like this are extremely rare. According to New Zealand’s Zoo authorities there are 68,000 kiwis left and 2 percent are lost every year. The various threats include dogs, stoats, ferrets and other wild animals. Mapuna is Manukura’s younger brother, who was bred in captivity.  

Manukura - The Rare White Kiwi From New Zealand Dies
Manukura – The Rare White Kiwi From New Zealand Dies

Taken To Specialist Veterinarian

Manukura was taken to the veterinarian early in December. Her zookeepers noticed that she was not eating properly and losing weight. After certain tests, unfertilized eggs were found in the ovarian duct of Manukura. She was unable to lay the eggs. The surgeons managed to operate the eggs successfully. However, she needed more surgeries. Manukura’s health continued to deteriorate in the weeks to come. Surgeons are also required to remove her oviduct and most of her left ovary.

She died on Sunday afternoon. The same was announced on Monday, on Pukaha’s Instagram page. In the initial days, like the first year Manukura was considered as a male. Later, it was discovered that she was female. In the year 2012, she was immortalised in a children’s book. She had very recently beaten up her prospective mate.

Manukura is a rare progeny of two birds who carry recessive white feather genes. She is not an Albino. At the conservation centre, kiwi eggs are collected at night when the male is not there. Kiwi chicks are raised in zoo in captivity until they weigh 1.2 kg. They are later released in the wild. It is a great loss for the conservation centre. So, she is being hailed as a family member.Everybody is sad because of the loss. These flightless birds are an iconic sign of New Zealand.

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