Officials say sarus crane adapting to ways of wild at Kanpur Zoo

Once the bird recovers its health completely, it will be sent back to its true home of the wilderness
Last Updated : 18 May 2023, 17:16 IST

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In Kanpur zoo, the sarus crane, taken away from an Amethi farmer, is slowly adapting to the ways of the wild, gradually shifting from cooked food to the more suitable diet of raw food, officials said.

They said the bird is under observation round the clock.

"The sarus crane is being rehabilitated for the wild by slowly changing its habit of eating cooked food like maggi, daal, rice and khichdi to eating a raw diet that is more suitable for wild birds like cranes," Zoo Director Krishna Kumar Singh told PTI on Thursday.

Arif Khan Gurjar (35), a farmer in Mandkha village in Amethi district, had found the bird injured with a wounded limb in a forest. He took care of the bird for a year and nursed it back to health. The two formed a strong bond during this time.

The sarus crane, which was shifted from the Samaspur sanctuary in Rae Bareli to Kanpur Zoo here in March 25, is presently put up in a 25x40 feet enclosure at a secret location inside the Kanpur Zoo hospital. The zoo officials have so far attained eighty per cent success in helping the crane adapt to a suitable diet that includes raw grains, insects, crustaceans, spinach, water hyacinth, Singh said.

Once the bird recovers its health completely, it will be sent back to its true home of the wilderness, he added.

The zoo director, however, said it will take more time to rehabilitate the crane into the forests as it still prefers human company over wildlife and being fed by hand.

Due to the sarus' strong bond with Arif, the zoo authorities have mulled returning it to him but a decision is pending as the step could influence others to raise wild animals illegally, another official of the zoo said.

During its stay with the Amethi-based farmer, the crane used to accompany Gurjar to his fields and was accepted "like a family member". It was, however, taken away by Forest Department officials on March 21.

Gurjar has been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Published 18 May 2023, 17:16 IST

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