Crane takes on elephant in Kenya

Posted by Anita Froneman on 13 May 2020

Cranes are generally very territorial birds and can make quite a scene, especially when they feel their eggs or young are under threat.

An incredible sighting of a crowned crane taking on an ellie who came a little too close for comfort was shared with by WildEearth’s SafariLive show.

Tayla McCurdy, the presenter of this episode, narrates the encounter that took place in the in Maasai Mara. A herd of elephants tried to walk through an area where the crane had eggs, and the bird would have none of it.

‘I cannot say for sure if this is a male or female crowned crane, as both genders sit on the nest during breeding season. The crane jumped to the defense of the unborn chicks, as the mother took on the elephants!’ says McCurdy. ‘The elephant seemed rather bemused by the situation and remained curious as to why the bird was flapping its wings. Various alarm calls did, in fact, seem to work at the beginning, as the bird kept launching forward, flapping wings and calling in defense of its nest. Eventually, the elephant became rather irritated and tried to push the bird away with its trunk before wandering off, leaving the eggs unharmed.’ 

Take a look at this lovely display of parental instinct kicking in:

The crowned crane is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List and is protected by law in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya.  

Image credit: Screenshot

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