Toledo Zoo's rare kiwi chick dies - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Toledo Zoo's rare kiwi chick dies

Posted: Updated:
TOLEDO, OH (Press Release) -

The Toledo Zoo is sad to report that its kiwi chick, which hatched on January 12, died Thursday. A specific cause for the death has not been determined; further tests are pending.

The chick had been strong and healthy until recently, when she started to lose weight; blood work revealed a possible bacterial infection. When initial medical treatment did not improve her condition, the Zoo's veterinary staff performed surgery to learn more.

"Initial observations during the surgery supported the possibility of a bacterial infection," Dr. Chris Hanley, the Zoo's chief veterinarian, said. "Shortly after the surgery was complete, the chick died." Complete results are pending and should provide additional information.

"Kiwi chicks have a high mortality rate, but every indication, until quite recently, was that this animal was in excellent health," Kathy Brader, coordinator of the international Kiwi Species Survival Plan (SSP), at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC, said. "Toledo Zoo staff was devoted to her well-being and provided her with excellent care during her short time here. We hope that the results offer information that will help future kiwi populations."

Kiwi are nocturnal, flightless birds native to New Zealand. An estimated 28 kiwi live in U.S zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). In the wild, kiwi were once widespread in New Zealand, but today populations are isolated and fragmented. According to information from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), wild kiwi populations are estimated between 25,000 and 30,000 birds, with declines of 90 percent or more over the last century. They are listed as an endangered species.