Production/Script: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Rajbir Singh
UP Forest Department officials confiscated a rare Sarus Crane from Arif, a resident of Amethi, after he saved its life.
That's the NEWS, but this story goes so much deeper than just the news. This is a story about a unique friendship, between Arif and a rare Sarus Crane that he rescued from certain death.
About a year ago, Arif Khan Gurjar found a Sarus Crane wounded and unconscious in his fields in Amethi's Mandhka village. The bird, one of just around 17,000 in UP, was bleeding from its leg.
"Though I am no expert, with the help of my medical friends and the internet, I managed to treat her and she was finally back on her feet."Arif Khan Gurjar
Once it was healthy, Arif took the crane to his fields to let it fly away. But the crane refused to leave, and stayed with Arif.
It was never chained, bound, or restrained in any manner, yet the crane stayed. It played with Arif, followed him in the air while he rode his bike, and even ate from his plate.
Soon, videos of Arif and the crane would begin circulating on social media. The unlikely friendship between Arif and the crane became the stuff of viral videos.
"This sarus is like a family member. If she doesn't find me around, she becomes uncomfortable. If I have to go away for some work, I have to avoid her so she doesn't follow me. At night, she sleeps by my bed. We don't keep her in captivity."Arif Khan Gurjar
But their friendship was too good to last forever. Forest Department officials from the UP State Government arrived in March 2023 and confiscated the crane that Arif had formed a friendship with.
Soon after, the same officials moved the crane, in a heart-wrenching video where Arif is seen weeping, to a bird sanctuary in Samaspur.
However, shortly after this, local media reported that the bird had flown away, and was seen in videos being fed by local residents.
Watch the video for the full story.