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Votes Are In: Kiwi Chick Named!

The Smithsonian National Zoo is giving the public a chance to vote on this kiwi chick's name (Image credit: Smithsonian National Zoo)

It's official. The baby kiwi at the Smithsonian National Zoo has just been named.

More than 10,000 votes were cast online to name the kiwi chick , part of a campaign to get the public to weigh in on what she should be named.

The winning name was Areta (AH-reh-tah). The name is M?ori the language of New Zealand's native people and means "of noble kind." Areta beat out the other names by 6,000 votes with a total of 8,037 votes, 76 percent of all votes. The other possibilities were KoeKoe meaning "squeak" and Hahana meaning "radiant" or "shine."

Areta was born June 15, one of the first kiwis in the United States to be bred in captivity, and the second to be born to her parents, Maori (father) and Nessus (mother). Kiwis (Apteryx mantelli) are small, flightless birds unique to New Zealand.

Kiwis in captivity are very rare only four zoos outside of New Zealand have been able to breed the birds. Only nine female brown kiwis exist in North American zoos, and the National Zoo is the only North American zoo to have a successfully breeding female.

Earlier this month, Areta was moved into her older sister Hiri's enclosure, and now it is possible to watch the two interact on the zoo's Kiwi Cam.

Live Science Staff
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