The Little White Kiwi: Something Very Special in New Zealand

Manukura Little White Kiwi

A New Zealand must-do: see Manukura, the Little White Kiwi at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre.

Pukaha Mount Bruce has always been a popular destination for nature lovers. Now since the arrival of three little white kiwi, it’s positively booming.

Lured by the chance to see New Zealand’s only white kiwi in captivity, I head to the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre which straddles the bush clad covered hills nestled between the Wairarapa and Tararua regions, just 20 minutes north of Masterton on State Highway 2..

It’s a place where you can experience endangered wildlife up close and in the wild and see what is being done to save kiwi, tuatara, kokako, kaka and return them to our forest.

Even though I’ve been before, this time was all about seeing Manukura, one of three white kiwi successfully hatched at Mount Bruce. Manukura is now resident in the nocturnal Kiwi House while her sibling Mauriora was released into the 942-hectare reserve north of Masterton in 2013 and Mapuna is currently in a pre-release enclosure. The trio are not albino but the rare progeny of kiwi that were transferred to Pukaha from Hauturu/Little Barrier Island in May 2010.

Manukura, who as a chick captured the world’s media attention with her fluffy white feathers and curious nature, is now a large bird with a plume of white feathers that create a halo affect. I understand then and there why the local iwi Rangitane o Wairarapa saw the white chick as a ‘tohu’ or ‘sign’ of new beginnings.
She stands out in the darkened Kiwi House and is very active throughout her night time (our day). She seems comfortable and relaxed – oblivious to the dozens of visitors, which take time to sneak a peak as they walk past the window.

Seeing Manukura is surprisingly, a poignant experience. While her fragility is evident I am left confident she and her siblings will thrive at Pukaha. The centre is constantly regenerating the forest with endangered New Zealand birdlife including Kokako, North Island Kaka and Kiwi as well as other native birds including Tui, Kereru and Rifleman. It seems they are returning birdsong back to the bush.

  • Manukura is resident in the nocturnal Kiwi House.
  • Become a friend of Manukura on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ManukuraWhiteKiwi
  • Brown Kiwi chicks hatched in captivity can be seen in the kiwi nursery during the breeding season Sept – April.

For more information on Pukaha Mount Bruce visit www.pukaha.org.nz, phone 06 375 8004 or email: info@pukaha.org.nz
Find out about other cool things to see in the Wairarapa  here: www.wairarapanz.com

I Love Donkeys

A PLACE THE DONKEYS CALL HOME

A VISIT TO PRIMROSE DONKEY SANCTUARY

Stepping out of my car, I was greeted by the unmistakable sound of donkey brays coming from the paddocks at Primrose Donkey Sanctuary. Looking over the fence, I saw half a dozen of these gentle animals standing in the sunshine, eating hay, or just lounging. I watched as one of the Unofficial Greeters, a beautiful and friendly calico cat, gingerly wound its way across the barnyard, skirting a donkey, and crawled underneath a fence to welcome me by rubbing up against my legs.

Donkeys in the barnyard, at Primrose Donkey Sanctuary.

Donkeys in the barnyard, at Primrose Donkey Sanctuary.

Walking up the driveway with our new kitty friend in tow, we were warmly welcomed by Chris, one of the many volunteers at Primrose. She asked us if we would like a tour, and off we went.

Sheila Burns founded Primrose Donkey Sanctuary in 1994. Since opening more than 20 years ago, Sheila has rescued and rehabilitated dozens of abused, neglected and unwanted donkeys, hinnies and mules, and has successfully adopted out dozens more. Today the sanctuary is home to more than 40 donkeys, as well as mules, sheep, goats, pigs, miniature horses and cats. It is maintained by a small army of 30-40 dedicated volunteers, who do everything from mucking stalls and paddocks, to grooming and feeding the animals, helping with fundraising events, maintaining and repairing the farm structures, and giving educational tours to visitors.

The Interior of the barn.

The Interior of the barn.

Primrose is a special place. In the vast barn, chandeliers hang from the ceiling, and the interior has been whitewashed, resulting in a whimsical and cozy interior where the animals can stay warm in winter, or rest and recuperate when in ill health. As we were entering, a vet who had been treating one of the animals that morning was lugging out her portable x-ray machine; it was easy to see how well cared for these animals are.

In the barn, we met Bernice, a goat who likes to show visitors who’s boss by standing in mangers (she suffers from “King-of-the-Castle” syndrome), and her pal Kitty Lamont, a sheep who is suffering an identity crisis and thinks that she is a cat.

We also met Patsy, a lovely blind donkey who insisted on having her nose gently rubbed.  Patsy’s friend is Jonathon Cupcake, a 44 year old donkey, and her seeing-eye donkey.

Bernice the goat, standing in a  manger.

Bernice the goat, standing in a  manger.

Patsy, a blind donkey, taking a nap after her relaxing nose rub.

Patsy, a blind donkey, taking a nap after her relaxing nose rub.

He is never far from her side, and leads her around the paddocks. And then there is Cleo, the adorable cat who wants nothing more than to perch on your shoulder as you tour the barn. Cleo found a willing victim in Sara, who was more than happy to temporarily wear a kitty scarf. Cats are everywhere at Primrose – walking through the barnyard, napping under bushes and in corners of the barn, and tightrope walking on the fences.

Out in the back pasture, we met a number of other animals including an unforgettable goat named Vanna White who grins, showing off her pearly white teeth, and more donkeys including Miriam and her daughter Guinevere. When they arrived at Primrose a year ago, Guinevere was only 1 week old and was so weak, the Primrose volunteers did not think she would survive. But with lots of care, she pulled through and is now a happy, healthy donkey.

Donkeys – The Stubborn Animals

Donkeys come from Africa and the Middle East, where they were tamed more than 5,000 years ago. These slow animals are used today as work animals in poor countries. They carry materials, plow fields and draw up water. Donkeys are related to horses and zebras, but they have much longer ears than either one. They’re also usually smaller than horses.

Donkey Grazing Grass Image - Science for Kids All About Donkeys

Donkeys are related to horses and zebras, but they have much longer ears than either one. Read more here all about donkeys.

Donkeys have a reputation for being stubborn. They are more cautious than horses. If a situation seems unsafe, they dig in their heels and won’t move. Owners must patiently work to gain a donkey’s trust.

What Are Donkeys?

You just got back from the farm and saw cows, horses, and donkeys. The donkey looked a lot like the horse, so you started wondering more about donkeys. What kind of animal is a donkey?

Donkeys are mammals that look a lot like horses.
donkey

Donkeys are mammals that are related to horses, but they are much smaller. A mammal is an animal that is warm-blooded, has hair or fur, and gives birth to live babies. A male donkey is called a jack and a female is called a jennet.

What Do Donkeys Look Like?

Donkeys usually have gray or brown fur and manes around their necks.
donkey

Donkeys are about 4 feet tall, which is about as tall as an 8 or 9 year old child. Even though donkeys are pretty small, they are very strong! Donkeys are also different from horses because they have very long ears. They have short manes, or hair around their heads and necks. Donkeys usually have gray or brown fur.

What Do Donkeys Need?

Many people own donkeys and keep them on farms. People who own donkeys give them lots of fresh water and grass or hay to eat. Donkeys are herbivores, which means that they only eat plants. Donkeys like to eat grains and other plants. People like to ride their donkeys or teach them to pull carts.

How Do Donkeys Grow?

A foal drinking milk from its mother.
foal

 

Donkeys are mammals that are related to horses, but they are much smaller. A mammal is an animal that is warm-blooded, has hair or fur, and gives birth to live babies. A male donkey is called a jack and a female is called a jennet.

What Do Donkeys Look Like?

Donkeys usually have gray or brown fur and manes around their necks.
donkey

Donkeys are about 4 feet tall, which is about as tall as an 8 or 9 year old child. Even though donkeys are pretty small, they are very strong! Donkeys are also different from horses because they have very long ears. They have short manes, or hair around their heads and necks. Donkeys usually have gray or brown fur.

What Do Donkeys Need?

Many people own donkeys and keep them on farms. People who own donkeys give them lots of fresh water and grass or hay to eat. Donkeys are herbivores, which means that they only eat plants. Donkeys like to eat grains and other plants. People like to ride their donkeys or teach them to pull carts.

How Do Donkeys Grow?

A foal drinking milk from its mother.
foal

Incredible Frittatas Muffins: Recipe for Kids

source: http://www.incredibleegg.org/recipe/muffin-frittatas/

Good nutrition make them for breakfast or snacks

This is a great way to eat well.  It is an easy recipe from the link

INGREDIENTS:   You need:

6 eggs         1/2 cup milk      1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp pepper     1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese ( 4oz)

 

1/4 chopped zucchini    1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

 

2 tbsp. chopper red onion

 

How many muffins frittatas do you make?   6

DIRECTIONS

HEAT oven to 350°F. BEAT eggs, milk, salt and pepper in medium bowl until well-blended.

Good nutrition – make them for breakfast or snacks

ADD cheese, zucchini, bell pepper and onion; mix well. SPOON evenly into 12 greased muffin cups, about 1/4 cup each.

BAKE in 350°F oven until just set, 20 to 22 minutes. COOL on wire rack 5 minutes. REMOVE from cups; serve warm.

You can make some good decisions about making these muffin frittatas.

  1.  Make them the night before.  You can reheat them in a microwave for a quick breakfast or snack.
  2. If you wish to have less calories, use fat-reduced cheese.