Red-crowned crane chick attracting visitors to Hokkaido nature park

A red-crowned crane chick is attracting visitors to the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido. The species is designated a special national natural treasure.

A reserve in the city of Kushiro currently keeps 14 of the birds in an environment similar to their natural habitat. It has seen successful hatchings for five years in a row.

Crane keepers confirmed on May 8 that an egg incubated by a male named Koo and a female named Takami had hatched.

The baby bird is covered with fuzzy brown down and is about 12 centimeters in length. Its gender is not yet known.

Visitors came to the facility the following day to capture a glimpse of the chick waddling after its parents and take photos of the family.

A local man in his 60s said he has been coming to take pictures for more than 30 years, but seeing a chick is always enjoyable. He said it's also great to see parent birds take care of their chicks.

Crane keeper Takashima Kenji said he was relieved to see the chick hatch and grow healthily. He said he wants people to see how the baby bird behaves as it can be observed only at this time.

Facility staff say a red-crowned crane chick can grow as large as an adult in about three months.