In February 2022, a 35-year-old man named Mohammad Arif found an injured Sarus crane in his village of Mandhka, located in the Amethi district of Uttar Pradesh. Arif took the bird home and nursed it back to health. However, the crane grew attached to Arif and never left his side. Arif began posting videos of the bird’s amusing behaviour on social media, which quickly gained a large following. In a sad turn of events, officials eventually caught wind of the situation and last week, Arif was booked under wildlife laws.
The bird was first sent to a nearby sanctuary and then to the Kanpur zoo. Today, when he went to catch up with his friends with wings, the crane’s joy knew no boundaries.
This heartwarming story caught SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav ‘s attention. He took personal interest in ensuring that Arif could meet his winged friend. On March 30 even accompanied Arif to Kanpur zoo but was denied a meeting because the bird is under quarantine.
The moment of their reunion was a sight to behold for the staff at the zoo.
The bird started fluttering its wings in excitement as if wanting to break free of the cage and hug Arif with its wings.
Even though under the law it is illegal to keep Sarus cranes as pets, as per ornithologists Sarus cranes are easily reared by hand, and become very tame and attached to the person who feeds them, following him like a dog.
Arif’s winged friend has proven that love and friendship can be found anywhere and it knows no boundaries.