ANIMAL: Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus Type of Animal: Crane Habitat: Wetlands, marshland, floodplains, grasslands Location(s): Mainly found in Zambia, Botswana, N. Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, S. Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, & W. Tanzania. Isolated populations in N.E. Congo & Ethiopia. Appearance: White breast/neck, black underparts, reddish wattle by face, grey feathers on adults. Tawny body plumage & less prominent wattle on juveniles. Food/Diet: Aquatic tubers & rhizomes, insects, snails, amphibians, grain, grass seeds, beetle larvae, small reptiles. Status in Wild: Threatened Conservation: Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, & breeding centers. Lifestyle: Found in flocks of 2-30 birds for most of year. During breeding/nesting season, they break off into monogamous pairs. Additional Info: Called: Male-Cock Female-Hen Young-Chick Group-Flock Weight: Male-17-20 lbs Female-14-17 lbs Gestation: 1 month Height: Male-6 ft Female-5.7 ft Body Length: 3.9 ft Life Span: 20-30 years in wild, up to 80 years in captivity Tail Length: 1.5 ft Main predators are lions, wild dogs, leopards, caracals, servals, pythons, crocodiles, & domestic dogs. Mongooses & pigs eat eggs. Largest crane in Africa and 2nd largest species in world. Pairs strongly territorial, often attacking & sometimes killing intruders with sharp beaks. Sexually mature at 3.5 years. Pairs lay 1-2 eggs. If more than 1 egg hatches, larger chick often kills smaller chick. Threatened due to water pollution, wetland destruction, habitat loss, poisoning, & harvesting of eggs/chicks/adults for food. The courtship ritual consists of elaborate dance, involving lots of jumping & vocalizing. International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, Wisconsin has successful breeding program with this species. Territories up to 1 square km. Chick stays w/ parents for up to 1 year. Fun Fact(s): Often mistaken for herons, egrets, or storks. Wattle increases in size when irritated & decreases when calm. Pairs known to be very aggressive in defense of territory & chicks, even attacking humans.