This Article is From Mar 28, 2023

Instagram Star Sarus Crane Not Eating "Proper" Food At UP Zoo. Here's Why

The forest department said they only want to send the sarus crane back to its natural habitat

Mohammed Arif said he rescued the sarus crane after he found it injured in his field


A sarus crane, whose close friendship with a man in Uttar Pradesh made international headlines, is not eating food properly after being shifted by forest department officials to a zoo in Kanpur. Zoo officials said they are hopeful things will improve soon.

The forest department has also filed a case against Mohammed Arif, 35, who rescued the crane in UP's Amethi district and cared for it for a year.

Visuals shared by Kanpur zoo showed the sarus crane in an enclosure. Zoo officials said the crane is in a 15-day quarantine and the eventual aim is to release it in the wild.

The forest department said it "rescued" the crane from Mr Arif, an Amethi resident who said he found the injured bird in his field last February and cared for it through the past 12 months.

In an Instagram live session last night, Mr Arif said he was heartbroken over the condition of the crane. "My friend the sarus has been taken to Kanpur and quarantined in a cage. It appeared to be very disturbed, and tears came to my eyes immediately," Mr Arif said in his Instagram post.

Kanpur zoo director Krishna Kumar Singh told NDTV the sarus crane has got used to eating cooked food. "The crane is not eating its actual diet; it has become used to eating cooked food. The crane is in quarantine for 15 days. We are trying to wean it away from cooked food to its natural raw diet," Mr Singh said.

"We are hopeful things will improve. Its behaviour is not like a normal crane at the moment," Mr Singh told NDTV.

The situation has led to a political battle in UP. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who had earlier visited Mr Arif and the crane at their village, said the forest department was made to take the crane away on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's orders. Mr Yadav also went to Kanpur zoo with Mr Arif to see the sarus crane.

The forest department said they only want to send the crane back to its natural habitat. They said they were alerted to the matter after the crane and Mr Arif appeared on social media and news headlines.