Blue crane rescued after injury in storm


A blue crane that was found in a weakened condition on a farm near Elim in the Western Cape in early October was able to be released back into the wild this past weekend thanks to the help of animal lovers.

Christine Wessels, spokesperson for the conservation organization Marine Dynamics, says they received a call on 3 October from a farmer from Elim who was extremely worried about the condition of a blue crane he found on his farm the day before.

The blue crane, which has since been dubbed Bluey, reportedly had difficulty walking and could not fly at all.

“Xolani Lawu, one of the senior bird rehabilitators of the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS), was informed about the injured bird and immediately drove to collect the animal,” says Wessels.

“The farm road was barely accessible due to the storms and heavy rain that hit the Overstrand area at the time, but Xolani carried on knowing that the bird needed urgent care.”

On his arrival at the APSS, the injured blue crane was thoroughly examined by dr. Liezl Pretorius, a wildlife veterinarian at the clinic, investigates. The bird did not suffer any broken bones. According to Pretorius, the blue crane probably got stuck somewhere during the heavy storms, which caused it to become weaker during the day.

Pretorius collaborated with several wildlife veterinarians to effectively treat the blue crane.

“The blue crane was unable to stand on its legs and could not move forward at all without using its wings,” says Wessels.

“After two weeks of garden snails and love, as well as the right treatment, encouragement, and the expertise of our Marine Dynamics and APSS team, the blue crane could be released on the same farm at Elim.”

Wessels says they are very grateful that the farmer, Louis October, approached them to save the “beautiful bird’s” life.

ā€œGoodbye, Bluey! We learned so much from you and will miss your regal calling and attitude. We absolutely understand why you are our national bird! Fly high.ā€