A newly-hatched chick – filmed at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire – could be the first wild-born crane to survive in the west of Britain for 400 years.
The parent birds were hand-reared by The Great Crane Project reintroduction programme and released as three month old fledglings on the Somerset Moors and Levels, where cranes were once commonplace before disappearing in the 1600s due to hunting and habitat loss.
Last year the parents managed to hatch a chick but it died before ever leaving the nest. This year footage of the newly-hatched chick shows it swimming near the nest and looking healthy. Visitors to Slimbridge have been able to watch the chick from one of the public hides.
People wanting to see the crane chick can visit WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire every day between 9.30am and 5.30pm, or watch on the webcam here.
The Great Crane Project has reintroduced 76 cranes over the last four years and it is currently rearing one final group for release later this summer.
The Great Crane Project is a partnership between WWT, RSPB, Pensthorpe Conservation Trust and Viridor Credits Environmental Company.