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With a little help from modern transport, Tuku, the kiwi born at Kiwi Birdlife Park last year, will tomorrow be able to "fly for once in her life".
After reaching 1kg and being cleared of any diseases potentially harmful to other kiwis she would be released later this week in the Maungataniwha Sanctuary, northern Hawkes Bay.
Kiwi Birdlife Park wildlife manager Nicole Kunzmann said Tuku would depart for Napier from Queenstown Airport at 9.55am and would stay at the Westshore Wildlife Reserve until her weekend release.
Tuku's release was especially poignant considering her difficult incubation and birth.
"She was a difficult egg to incubate and we had to fully assist her hatch as she had developed within her egg with one foot caught over her head," Ms Kunzmann said.
"Against all the odds, she survived and grew into a strong and healthy wee kiwi that we are able to release into the wild."
Friends of the park are invited to say goodbye to Tuku at 9am tomorrow before she is taken to the airport at 9.10am.
"Even kiwis have to check in."