Our goal is to have NO captive Grey Crowned Cranes in Rwanda.
So far 242 cranes have been removed from captivity, of which 166 have been reintroduced to Akagera National Park.
For those captive cranes that are healthy enough to be returned to the wild, they are confiscated from the captive environment and taken to our purpose-built quarantine facility. During the quarantine period, the cranes undergo a complete physical exam and samples are collected and analysed for different diseases. We respond and treat accordingly for any cranes that are found with a disease that could be harmful to its health once reintroduced but also could be a threat to other birds or animals in the wild. Once the cranes are clear of disease and the quarantine period is complete, they are moved to the rehabilitation site at Akagera National Park.
The rehabilitation facility gives the cranes time to relearn or remember behaviours such as foraging that they will need to survive in the wild, as well as re-grow feathers that were cut in captivity. During this time, the cranes are supplemented with food but this is slowly reduced over time to encourage them to look for their own food and become less reliant on people. We take time to monitor the cranes daily in the facility and conduct regular visual observations to assess how they are adapting to their new environment. When the cranes are ready and able to fly again, they are free to fly out of the facility as there is no roof.
An additional 51 cranes rescued from captivity, that were disabled or not healthy enough to return to the wild, are now enjoying our large, naturally restored wetland and crane sanctuary ‘Umusambi Village’