A crowned crane is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List and is protected by law in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya. They are usually very territorial especially in pairs and can get quite aggressive defending their territory or chicks.
It’s a different story when size comes to play, and for this crane, it seems that size was not even a problem when it took on a herd of elephants!
This incredible sighting was shared with LatestSightings.com by WildEarth’s SafariLive show. It is a company that streams live safaris every day from Greater Kruger, and other reserves. This sighting was, too, streamed on a live safari and in this episode, Tayla McCurdy, the presenter, narrates the experience.
Tayla McCurdy from South Africa, came across a wonderfully unique sighting in Maasai Mara. A crowned crane had some eggs in an open area when a herd of elephants tried to walk through, grazing on the water plants which seem grass-like.
“I cannot say for sure if this is a male or female crowned crane, as both genders sit on the nest during breeding season. The crane jumped to the defense of the unborn chicks, as the mother took on the elephants!”
“The elephant seemed rather bemused by the situation and remained curious as to why the bird was flapping its wings. Various alarm calls did, in fact, seem to work at the beginning, as the bird kept launching forward, flapping wings and calling in defense of its nest. Eventually, the elephant became rather irritated and tried to push the bird away with its trunk before wandering off, leaving the eggs unharmed.”
“The bird, seemingly relaxed, then turned its attention to a baby elephant calf grazing nearby, as soon as it tried to charge for the calf, the 1st young elephant trumpeted a warning call and paced quickly in the direction of the calf. The crowned crane moved off, realizing that there was no longer any danger, leaving the elephant to graze peacefully but keeping a close eye.”