Kiwi chicks released

Photo supplied
Photo supplied
Shaun Horan, of Willowbank wildlife sanctuary in Christchurch, releases one of six Haast tokoeka chicks at Orokonui Ecosanctuary yesterday.

Haast tokoeka are the rarest breed of kiwi.

The chicks, each weighing between 500g and 900g, were released by members of the public and ecosanctuary staff yesterday.

Orokonui Ecosanctuary general manager Chris Baillie said the chicks were used to the cold, but would spend much of their first week at the sanctuary in a special box. Supplementary food would be provided.

The birds would remain at the sanctuary until they were about six months old. They would then be released on predator-free islands, she said.

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