Could you be a Crane Mama?

Who wouldn’t want to spend hours sploshing about a wetland in all weather, mashing up mealworms, wearing a peculiar grey and white overall and at the same time making an important contribution to the survival of Wattled Cranes on our planet? Actually, you have to be a bit special to do this, and maybe you are.

The KZN Crane Foundation is launching the new Wattled Crane Rearing Facility in Nottingham Road in July 2014 and need assistance for the rearing of Wattled Crane chicks this winter for four months. This is a really unique opportunity for someone who wants to make a significant contribution to conservation. Preference will be given to those who have experience in hand rearing birds, a good knowledge and interest in birds or have proven experience of arduous work with animals in challenging conditions. There is no stipend but basic accommodation is available. Local Crane enthusiasts are also able to support the foundation by committing to assist two days a week.

“Costume-rearing” is a proven and effective technique which requires human caretakers to dress in crane costumes and mimic the behaviours of adult cranes in order to teach the youngsters the skills they need to survive in the wild. As chicks mature, the costumed caretakers take them for walks and teach them to forage for natural foods. The nursery is placed in the Wattled Cranes natural habitat, with wetland for walking, feeding and training.

The Wattled Crane Recovery Programme (partners are: Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ), Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), KZN Wildlife and African association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZAB)) aims to prevent the local extinction of Wattled Cranes in South Africa by creating a breeding flock of Wattled Cranes from abandoned eggs from the wild, and then releasing off-spring of the breeding flock back into the wild to help increase the wild population.

Lara Jordan is the person to contact to find out how you can spend the winter nights sleeping near precious Wattled Crane infants and sunny days taking long-legged chicks for walks. or cell: 0719035880


“Costume-rearing” is a proven and effective technique used in the rearing of Crane chicks.

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