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Harry and Meghan meet just-hatched chick at National Kiwi Hatchery

UK News | Published:

The centre in Rainbow Springs is the leading kiwi conservation centre in New Zealand.

New Zealand Britain Royals

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at a kiwi hatchery just in time to meet a seconds-old baby bird.

The chick had just clawed its way out of a large shell when Harry and Meghan arrived in Rainbow Springs to learn about their breeding programme.

New Zealand Britain Royals
A kiwi chick hatches ahead of Harry and Meghan’s visit to the National Kiwi Hatchery in Rainbow Springs in Rotorua, New Zealand (Phil Nobel/AP/P)

The kiwi is New Zealand’s native bird, but the fact it cannot fly means its young have been affected by predators in the wild.

Charity Kiwis For Kiwis started a breeding programme – Operation Nestegg – in 1994 to increase the birds’ numbers and the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa is the leading kiwi conservation centre in the country.

New Zealand Britain Royals
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex talk to staff at the sanctuary (Phil Nobel/AP/PA)

The couple were met by kiwi husbandry manager Emma Bean and they asked her a number of questions about the chicks.

When she told Meghan that laying an egg was the equivalent of having a “30lb baby”, the pregnant duchess grimaced and then laughed.

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They went on to meet two three-day old chicks called Koha (gift) and Tihei (sneeze of life).

New Zealand Britain Royals
Harry and Meghan,look at a kiwi through a window during a visit to the National Kiwi Hatchery (Phil Nobel/AP/PA)

Harry and Meghan watched as they were given a health check by Ms Bean and executive director of Kiwis for Kiwis Michelle Impey.

As the duke and duchess left the sanctuary, they were given some picture books about kiwis for their baby, and greenstone necklaces for themselves.

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