April 3, 2009

Crane shot with arrow rejoins mate

A Sandhill crane was reunited with its mate in Wisconsin this week after more than six months recovering from an arrow wound.

When the bird was released Wednesday near Wisconsin Rapids, where it was discovered in September, it flew into the air, heard a call and then reversed course to a nearby field, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. There, it found its mate and the juvenile male it hatched last year.

The other cranes migrated to Florida and back during the winter.

The crane, an adult female, was close to death when it was found. It had been unable to feed itself since being shot and had an infection.

It was tube fed for days at the Raptor Education Group in Antigo because it was so weak.

Every patient is special every time we release them -- it's always a celebration, said Marge Gibson, the group's executive director. But this bird has been through so much that you can't help but have it occupy a bigger part of you.

Gibson said that the crane adopted several juvenile cranes during its months in rehab and that may have aided its recovery, the newspaper reported.