New Zealand Kiwis 2

Photo: Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
July 16, 2010
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Photo: Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo

On Friday, July 16, New Zealand Ambassador Roy Ferguson officially handed over the kiwi pair to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in a ceremony at the facility in Front Royal, Va. Dave Wildt, head of SCBI’s Species Survival Center, first discussed the Zoo’s conservation objectives and the role of SCBI in brown kiwi conservation efforts. Following this, John Mataira (pictured above), consul general for the New Zealand Consulate in Los Angeles, blessed the birds in the Maori tradition. Kathleen Brader, senior bird keeper at the National Zoo and Species Survival Plan coordinator for kiwis outside of New Zealand; Geoff Reynolds, SCBI bird keeper; and Warren Lynch, SCBI bird unit manager, accepted the pair on behalf of the National Zoo.