With fewer than 25 000 birds left, our blue cranes are classified as vulnerable in South Africa so when we got a call from a farmer about a young blue crane caught in his farm fence, we grabbed our tallest transport box and raced to the rescue.
The young bird was of that age where learning to fly is of the most importance and we assumed that perhaps a flying lesson didn’t end so well. Our biggest fear was that one, or both, wings might have been injured in the young bird’s fight with the fence. Carefully removing the bird from its wiry entrapment, our attending wildlife officer was relieved when he saw that it was only the bird’s long legs that were hurt.
The taut fence wire had cut the flesh on both shins down to the bone.
The Blue Crane was carefully and quickly packed for transport back to our animal hospital with no delay.
Back at our hospital, attending veterinarian Doctor Etienne cleaned and bandaged the wounds and ordered a few day’s cage rest with regular bandage changes and wound cleaning on order.
Our bird made a record recovery, the deep wounds healed over beautifully with some care and attention and before long, it was back to the open fields (and far away from the fence!), so the bird could re-join his family (and resume his flying lessons).
South Africa’s national bird, the blue crane, is a majestic bird both in flight and when seen striding through grasslands or performing their elaborate courtship dance with wings outstretched, but despite having national VIP status, the species is sadly in decline. We were honoured to be of service!
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA Wildlife Department responds to all cases of injured wildlife. If you come across any wild animal in need of rescuing, please contact the Cape of Good Hope SPCA on 0217004140 or email email@example.com