What is New Zealand's national animal

It's so soft, so fluffy. A chubby, fluffy ball, not quite round, more egg-shaped, and the two legs are not in the middle, but rather in the back, so that it seems as if it is constantly in danger of tipping over. When he stalks across the forest floor like this, his head - a small head in relation to the somewhat clumsy body - jerks rhythmically forward, like a chicken.

But nobody would mistake it for a chicken, if only because of its long, slightly curved beak. He uses it to dig holes in the ground to find worms, larvae, snails and spiders. It is said that he cannot see very well, but that he can smell all the better. Other birds have their olfactory openings (who would speak of nostrils in a bird?) At the base of the beak, but it has them at the very front, at the tip of the beak.

Really a strange bird. Anyway: bird? Where are the wings? You have to look for it properly, under the fluff. They are tiny, four to five centimeters long and weigh between one and five kilograms. To fly? No thought.

It belongs to the order of ratites, the Struthioniformes, and around a few corners it is related to the largest birds in the world, the African ostrich, the Australian emu, the South American rhea. Strange thought that a country has chosen it as its national symbol. There is nothing bold and heroic about it like the other national symbols or heraldic animals of this world, such as the eagle, the lion or the bear. But New Zealanders love it.

The kiwi love the kiwi, although very few of them have ever seen one in the wild. Because the kiwis are nocturnal. Only in the dark do they look for food, only at night can you hear their panting whistles in the woods. When morning comes, they disappear back into their subterranean caves.

But the kiwi is in danger.