Sunday April 13 2014

Crested crane trails injured Mbarara man for four days

Mr Amos Mbarebaki (seated) at his home as

Mr Amos Mbarebaki (seated) at his home as residents watch the crested crane. Some have been giving him money while others want to hear his story in relation to the national bird. PHOTO by Alfred Tumushabe 

By Alfred Tumushabe

A crested crane has been following a man in Biharwe Town in Mbarara District since Friday, leaving residents perplexed.
Mr Amos Mbarekaki said the bird started following him as he walked to strengthen his muscles and bones which were injured in a road accident six months ago.

“At around 9am, I decided to take a walk. I moved slowly through the pitch. All of a sudden, I saw this crested crane following me but I did not mind until it persisted. I tried frightening it using the stick I use for support but it did not relent,” Mr Mbarebaki said.

“I got frightened and called passersby to chase it because I thought it had realised I am lame so it wants to harm me. When they tried to scare it away with shouts and throwing stuff at it, it turned around to where I was heading. People also gave up,” he added.

The 27-year-old, who had walked about 300 metres from his home, then started heading back but the crested crane continued following him.
Mr Mbarekaki said he decided to sit at a nearby shop where other people also tried to chase it away in vain.

A crowd had gathered and after a while he was advised to walk home escorted by many people but the bird also followed them closely.
The bird is still loitering around Mr Mbarekaki’s compound.

About the bird
The Crested Crane – chosen as Uganda’s Crest (national symbol) nearly 100 years ago, is one of the most cherished birds in the country. Its tail feathers, comparatively short, are the colour of dried straw. When at rest, the bird seems to be enveloped in a cape of exquisite delicacy with its multi-coloured head where the colours of the national flag are represented.