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Waikohatu Scott, of Makaawhio runanga on the West Coast, holds a Haast tokoeka kiwi before it was handed over to the care of Orokonui Ecosanctuary and released into a burrow along its kiwi track last night.
The rare kiwi was brought by road from Centre Island in Lake Te Anau yesterday to its new home at the predator-proof ecosanctuary, conservation manager Elton Smith said.
The ecosanctuary had been expecting three kiwi to arrive but one was too underweight to be transferred and another was unable to be extracted from its burrow.
The new kiwi joins the other 21 which had been released into the ecosanctuary since 2010. Signs had been found the kiwi were breeding, but how successful the birds had been would not be known until an official survey was done with trained kiwi dogs next year, Mr Smith said.