Endangered Red-Crowned Crane Chick at Seattle Zoo

Red-crowned crane chick

Woodland Park Zoo’s new red-crowned crane chick is on a mission, living as an ambassador for cranes facing habitat loss and life-threatening, human-wildlife conflicts in their Asian range. Photo credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is home to a new male red-crowned crane chick! The fluffy, brown chick, hatched on May 13, will play an integral role in the survival of the species. Red-crowned cranes are severely endangered, with only  2,700 cranes remaining in the Amur Basin of Northeast Asia.

The zoo works with Muraviovka Park for Sustainable Land Use and the International Crane Foundation, through the zoo’s Partners for Wildlife, with the goal to bring the red-crowned crane population back from the brink of extinction.

“Muraviovka Park gives red-crowned cranes a chance to flourish; it’s a safe haven for them to breed, nest and raise their young,” says Fred Koontz, Woodland Park Zoo Vice President of Field Conservation. “This wildlife sanctuary is the first nongovernmental protected area, and the first privately run nature park in Russia since 1917, and it’s making a tremendous difference for the future of cranes and many other species.”

If you would like to help red-crowned cranes, you can get involved with Woodland Park Zoo’s efforts at zoo.org/conservation.

Red-crowned crane chick

Red-crowned crane chick

Photo credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

Rescued Sandhill Crane and Orphaned Chick Bond at SeaWorld

Sandhill crane rescues at SeaWorld

An injured adult sandhill crane and an orphaned crane chick bond at SeaWorld. Photo provided by SeaWorld.

A few weeks ago, the aviculture team at SeaWorld Orlando took into their care an adult sandhill crane with a rubber gasket stuck around his bill. The gasket not only made it impossible for the crane to eat, it impeded upon the proper development of his bill. The SeaWorld team removed the gasket and provided around-the-clock care to rehabilitate the bird.

While caring for the adult, SeaWorld rescued a newly-hatched, orphaned sandhill crane chick. Although older cranes sometimes do not tolerate unfamiliar chicks, the team decided to see if their rescued adult might act as a surrogate for the chick. And to everyone’s delight, the pair bonded!

By taking the orphan under wing, the adult crane has given the chick the opportunity to mimic and learn behaviors needed to survive in the wild. Eric Reece, SeaWorld’s Supervisor of Aviculture, adds, “The fact that the adult crane took to the chick bodes well for the development of the chick. It is now growing and doing well.”

Once the adult crane has recovered from his injuries and the chick learns to fly, both birds will be released into the wild together.

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