All about Hoofbeats & Footprints



Allow me to introduce you to “Garrett.” A Sandhill Crane that has recently been added to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Garrett was found in Garrett County, Maryland at the end of 2015 wandering the streets looking for a handout.

Clearly with no fear of humans (Human Imprint), Garrett was seen walking the parking lot of Walmart approaching people in hopes of some food. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources contacted the Maryland Zoo when they heard about Garrett in hopes of capturing and rehabilitating him.

The Maryland Zoo works with Maryland’s DNR in these cases with the objective to heal and then release the animal back into the wild. But in this case, Garrett clearly was so accustomed to people, he has been given a permanent home in the Native Aviary at the zoo.

It took a week of zoo keepers going to Garrett County in hopes of capturing him, but by the time they got out there, Garrett was nowhere to be found. Finally, they were able to capture him and brought him to the zoo.

Sandhill cranes are is a species of large cranes found in North America and Siberia, and are usually seen in the summer months in the Mid-west, and in the winter in Bosque del Apache, New Mexico.

14 replies »

  1. I fear with all the changes we’ve made, more and more birds will start to adapt to this behavior. Certainly works for the starlings, sparrows, and pigeons. Beautiful animal! And thanks for sharing the story. 😀

    • Truly a thought provoking comment Shannon. It is true, Americans love to feed their garden birds and generations have become dependent on our providing them food. They are wild, but yet domesticated. There is so much that this could influence as these species populations grow, crowding out others.

      My pleasure to share.

    • It’s what happens when humans interact with wildlife from the moment of birth. Garrett clearly was used to humans feeding him. He seemed like he’s still trying to figure things out in his new home though.

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