Wild Crane Refuses to Leave the Side of Man Who Saved Its Life

An Indian man has become somewhat of a celebrity in his home state of Uttar Pradesh thanks to his unusual best friend, a wild crane that follows him everywhere he goes.

30-year-old Mohammed Arif, a harvester operator from Mandka village, in Uttar Pradesh, was working in a field in February of last year, when he saw an injured sarus crane in dire need of help. It was bleeding from one leg and seemed in a lot of pain, so the young man picked it up and took it home where he started nursing it back to health. It took a while, but the red-necked crane made a full recovery. Only instead of flying away the moment it was set free, the majestic bird stuck by its benefactor, accompanying him everywhere.

The bird was bleeding profusely in its right leg and I could see it was in a lot of pain,” Mohammed said about the day he met his feathered friend. ‘Without thinking twice, I picked it up and brought the bird home. I put some medicine on its leg and applied a plaster by fixing a bamboo stick and covering it with bandages. I have an outhouse, basically a shed with a tin roof where the bird was housed.”

During its recovery, the bird mingled with the domestic birds in Arif’s yard while he was away at work, but as soon as the man came home, it immediately came to him, asking to be cuddled and sharing his food. By April, the bird, which Arif named ‘Bachcha’, made a full recovery, but it refused to fly away, preferring to stick by its best friend.


“Life has not been the same since then,” Mohammed said. “Now, wherever I go, the sarus accompanies me like a family member. When I am at work operating the harvester, the bird takes a stroll in the fields and then we both have lunch together, before returning home in the winter.

The Indian man said that during the winter, other sarus cranes visit Bachcha and they play together, but while they eventually fly away, his feathered friend always stays behind. Sometimes, when Arif leaves home on his motorcycle, the crane flies with him and is able to keep up at speeds of 30-40 km/h.


“My work takes me to different locations and I enjoy the stares that my Bachcha and I get as we commute 40-50 km daily,” Arif said.

Interestingly, the crane only has eyes for Mohammed Arif, the man who nursed it back to health. Although Bachcha has been around his wife and children for over a year now, they don’t dare go near it. Whenever his wife tries to approach the bird or even bring it food, it attacks to keep her at bay.


Wildlife experts describe the relationship between Bachcha and her human rescuer as highly unusual, as sarus cranes are known as the least social crane species. They are very protective when nesting and can be very aggressive against intruders that get too close.