Endangered cranes arrive in Taiwan from Japan

September 14, 2011
A photo taken by the Taipei City Government in Kushiro, northern Japan, shows Japanese experts loading a pair of red-crowned cranes into wooden boxes as the authorities prepare to ship them to Taipei. The shipment of "Big" and "Kika" marked Japan's first ever export of the endangered bird.

A pair of red-crowned cranes from Japan were flown to Taiwan on Wednesday in the country's first ever export of the endangered bird, zoo officials said.

The birds, named "Big" and "Kika", were transported to Taipei from Kushiro, northern Japan.

They will be quarantined for 21 days before the nine-year-old male bird, "Big", which is used to human contact, is introduced to the public on October 30, said.

There are about 1,000 of the birds -- one of the world's largest cranes -- in Japan.

Biologists estimate that 1,600 others live in the wild or in captivity in Siberia, China, Mongolia and Korea.

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