Sandhill Crane Shot With Arrow Ready To Fly Again

A sandhill crane that was captured in central Wisconsin with an arrow through her body is due to be released after what a veteran bird rehabilitator calls a truly amazing recovery.

A bird watcher spotted the crane near Wisconsin Rapids last Labor Day weekend and it stayed in the wild several weeks before others saw it and called bird rehabilitator Marge Gibson from Antigo. She and Wisconsin Rapids wildlife rehabilitator Nicki Christianson worked out a capture plan, and more than two dozen people helped catch the weakened bird on September 29th.

Gibson says the arrow missed all the vital organs, but the crane had a bad infection. It not only survived treatment but is due to be released today, unless severe weather prevents it, in the same area where it was found.

Two cranes believed to be its mate and offspring have returned to the area from migration, and Gibson hopes they'll be reunited. Cranes mate for life.

No one has been charged with shooting the crane, despite a reward offered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The sandhill crane is a federally protected species.