On their migratory route over Lebanon last autumn, a number of common cranes were massacred by random poachers. The flock of birds were lured to rest at an estuary with the help of electronic decoys. They were then slaughtered from military rifles and shotguns as soon as they started to land.
Many died instantly, others flew away injured.
One of them landed in a private garden. We named him “Esmat”, after the person who found him and contacted us; knowing SPNL could save the crane. SPNL was then able to rescue and treat him, feed him and care for him along with other prey birds injured in different parts of Lebanon.
After his treatment at SPNL bird Rescue Center at Mount Lebanon Hima Center ( MLHC )-Kayfoun, Esmat was successfully released into the wild. He should now be in Africa along with his fellow cranes.
Mount Lebanon Hima Center: A space to heal
As illegal killings of birds were happening all over Lebanon during the migratory season 2020, at SPNL, we did not stay idle: this is how we transformed the aviary at MLHC into a rescue center for Migratory birds. The aviary’s purpose was to breed Syrian serin (Serinus syriacus) and release the offspring back to the wild in an effort to increase its population. But in the face of urgency, some changes inside the aviary were made to accommodate the needs of those large and heavy birds such as Cranes, black kites, or even an Egyptian Vulture. A team of vets was able to treat them, and food was made available to offer them the best care possible.
Thank you for helping us on this journey to set up a Rescue Center for Migratory soaring birds. For this urgent situation to turn into a sustainable reality, SPNL is working on providing treatment and rehabilitation for those wild birds.
To be ready for any urgency, to save more birds, we plan on setting up a mobile clinic.
Video by Pierre Dawalibi, Johnny Fenianos and O-Life. Voice over by SPNL field officer: Maher Osta.
It was aired, Monday 18th of January on MTV Lebanon.