Dear Friend,

This message is hard for me to write.

But as a lover of cranes, I know that you want to hear all of the relevant crane news -- the good, the bad, and in this case, the ugly.

It's in that spirit that I share the news of a flock of 43 Grey Crowned Cranes recently discovered along the banks of the Luangwa River in Zambia. The Luangwa is usually a stronghold for Grey Crowned Cranes, a place teeming with birds feeding, dancing, and living their lives -- often in the company of many other animals, like elephants.

This time however, 35 of the Grey Crowned Cranes in the flock were dead. 8 were alive, but too sick to fly. An analysis by veterinarians at the University of Zambia confirmed our worst fears: poison.

Poisoned Grey Crowned Crane
Sick and flightless, this Grey Crowned Crane is one of 43 that were recently poisoned in Zambia. Photo by Mwamba Sichande - ZCP/SLCS

Like you, we are heartbroken. Grey Crowned Cranes are endangered, so to lose an important population to such a senseless act is extremely frustrating to say the least. 

The only good news here is that we know about this because of our increased presence and vigilance in crane strongholds throughout their vast range.

Giffin Shanungu
A message from Griffin, "Our work here is urgent! Too many cranes have died, with a big impact on our population. Please help me do more to prevent further deaths and ensure a future for Grey Crowned Cranes in Zambia." Click here to send your support. 
Griffin Shanungu, our Zambia Crane and Wetland Program Manager (right), is working to save cranes in Zambia every day. We suspect the cranes were poisoned by grazing in nearby maize fields, but there are still unanswered questions. With Griffin on the ground we were in a position to immediately launch an investigation into who did the poisoning, why, and what we can do about it.

With Griffin's continued leadership, we are committed to preventing future crane poisonings. We will work closely with our partners to strengthen the relationships between local communities and cranes, while also working to better understand the crane populations and their seasonal habits.

Today I am looking for your support because we can't do it without you. Please consider making a special donation to support our work protecting Grey Crowned Cranes in Africa by clicking here or calling 608-356-9462.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to sharing happier news with you next time.

Rich Beilfuss
Thank you, 
Rich Beilfuss
President & CEO

P.S. The poisoning of Grey Crowned Cranes is a threat we can stop, but we need your support to do it. Please consider making a donation to support our work today.

The International Crane Foundation works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend.