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National Zoo Hatches First Kiwi in 30 Years

A very rare event happened at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. For the first time in 30 years a North Island Brown Kiwi has hatched there.

The National Zoo received a great deal of media attention last year with the birth of the panda cub Tai Shan. But now another species is attracting some notice. A North Island Brown Kiwi hatched last month at the zoo -- the first since 1975.

Before it hatched, birdkeeper Kathy Brader kept a watchful eye on its progress. "This darkened area here is actually the chick,” she pointed out. “We're a little bit about halfway through the incubation but everything looks according to plan.

Kiwis have been successfully bred in only four countries outside of their native New Zealand.

Zoo Director John Berry is thrilled about the newest addition to the zoo family. "You know, we were the first institution outside New Zealand over 30 years ago to have the first kiwi born outside New Zealand and so we are excited to have this event happening here again."

Kiwi's are flightless and nocturnal birds and, if less cuddly than pandas, no less welcome at the zoo.