CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

WATCH: Rangers tackle lost crane on Hampstead Heath

Reports of a strange bird on the cricket field - and two foxes with breakfast on their mind

03 November, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

THIS is the moment rangers on Hampstead Heath bravely tackled a confused crane – capturing and taking it to safety.

This morning (Friday), Heath staff were alerted to reports that a strange bird with a huge wing span was wandering around a cricket pitch at Parliament Hill Fields – and was being stalked by two hungry foxes who fancied the creature for their breakfast.

Rangers swung into action and spent three hours trying to coax the crane to safety – and eventually took drastic action. A Heath worker told the New Journal: “A colleague in our staff yard called us to say there was a weird looking bird on the cricket field. We are used to catching swans when they are in trouble, so we thought we’d best go and see what it was.”

The bird is not a species seen before on the Heath so they decided they had better take a closer look – before a fox did.
They added: “We looked it up and realised it was a crane. It was quite tame, but really difficult to catch – much harder than one of our swans.”

Cranes include the world’s largest flying birds and can be found across Europe, Asia and Africa, but are not usually found wild in the UK. It is unknown where this one has come from.

“It does not have a ring or a tag on it so we do not know where it has come from, but we do suspect it must have come from someone’s private collection,” the worker added.

The bird has now been taken to a swan sanctuary in Middlesex and the New Journal is pleased to report is feeding and settled in well at its current home.

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