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Rare white kiwi, Manukura, dies following surgery in New Zealand

WION logo WION 28-12-2020 (Wion Web Team)
a close up of a bird © Provided by WION

A rare white kiwi has died following surgery, prompting an outpouring of grief among conservationists in New Zealand.

Manukura was born at the Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre, with staff at the time not knowing she was white until she hatched. She was the first of three white kiwis that went on to be hatched at the wildlife centre during the 2011-2012 breeding seasons.

Manukura was not albino (where there is a lack of melanin that makes pigmentation white and features pink eyes), but, pure white, which means she was the rare progeny of two parents who carry the recessive white feather gene.

Manukura was an ambassador for Pūkaha, conservation and tourism in Wairarapa. Her popularity with the public spawned a Facebook page, soft toys, children’s books and other memorabilia.

Her popularity spawned online with her very own Facebook page, and soft toys, children's books, and other memorabilia were created in her likeness.

(With inputs from agencies)

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