Tuesday, September 2, 2008

day 246 - Tancho!

Our last morning in Kushiro and we actually 'capture' a crane!
No - not this one at the airport, but the chance to get photos of a real live one.

There are cranes in this wet country - they're just too deep into the reeds to be accessible by us in late summer...

Not wild, but a real crane.
The Japanese Crane Reserve opened in 1958 with the aim of protecting and propagating this beautiful endangered species.

Staff at the Reserve tried for ten years before achieving natural reproduction, augmented by artificial hatching by 1970.

The Reserve allows interested academics and visitors to observe the birds at close quarters without disturbing them.

A bird sprouts a new red crown after its annual molt.

At rest. None of the birds looks distressed!
This was the perfect ending to our visit to Hokkaido, truly the last great wilderness in Japan!

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