Reddit users shocked to discover kiwi bird exists, isn't imaginary nor extinct

Most commenters found the video heartwarming - but others were confused. Photo credit: Reddit/Newshub.

A video of an excited kiwi bird is shocking parts of the internet after some revealed they thought the New Zealand icon was actually extinct, while others thought it never existed in the first place.

Posted in the 'MadeMeSmile' sub-Reddit, the video shows two kiwi - with one appearing to fall over "from the excitement of finding a surprise food box".

Most commenters found the video heartwarming - but others were confused.

"Until 30 seconds ago I thought kiwis had gone extinct like a million years ago," one said.

"Right? This was the first time I've seen an actual video of one," another wrote. "Before now, I had only seen pictures. We don't have them here, they seem so adorable and alien to me."

Another user said they had forgotten the kiwi was even real.

"For some reason, I thought they were imaginary."

Some Reddit users quickly corrected those who were confused - explaining kiwi were endangered but not extinct. 

"They look helpless and delicious, so I can see why they're endangered," one responded.

Another person suggested people might have been thinking of the extinct moa, not the kiwi.

Like the kiwi, moa were flightless and native to New Zealand - but they became extinct between 500 and 600 years ago. 

"They were pretty much giant Kiwis with long necks. Sometimes they'd be metres tall," another Reddit user said of the moa.

Confusion aside, many users said the video lived up to the 'MadeMeSmile' Reddit thread's namesake.

"I could watch happy Kiwi vids all day. This definitely made me smile," wrote one.

"New Zealanders are a lot cuter than I expected," said another.

The Department of Conservation says there are about 68,000 Kiwi left in the wild - with its undamaged population dropping 2 percent per year.