A much-loved and extremely rare white kiwi has died following surgery, prompting an outpouring of grief among conservationists in New Zealand.
Manukura the North Island brown kiwi hatched in captivity in May 2011 with a rare genetic trait, leucism, that gave her striking white plumage.
She became an ambassador for both the Pūkaha national wildlife centre at Mt Bruce in the Wairarapa, where she lived; and the plight of her endangered species, inspiring stuffed toys, memorabilia and a picture book.
Manukura had been taken to the specialist Wildbase hospital at Massey University in Palmerston North early this month after rangers caring for her at Pūkaha had noticed she was losing weight.
Vets found an unfertilised egg that Manukura was unable to lay. Though their operation to remove it was successful, the bird’s health continued to deteriorate in the subsequent weeks.
Her death on Sunday afternoon was announced on Monday on Pūkaha’s Instagram page: “She will be sorely missed.”
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SOURCE: The Guardian, Elle Hunt