The two cranes (Grus antigone sharpii) are about 20 years old and weigh five to six kilograms. 

They are currently living in a zoo in Vientiane, Laos, according to VnExpress.

Since the cranes are not healthy enough to survive in the wild, the Laotian zoo contacted the International Crane Association in the United States to find a suitable place for them. 

Dr. Tran Triet, a member of the International Crane Association, worked with Dong Thap authorities to arrange for the cranes to be brought to Tram Chim National Park, which is able to provide the ideal natural conditions for the cranes.

The birds are expected to arrive this November.

Tram Chim National Park, which spans 7,500 hectares, is a designated wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. 

It is a haven for several bird species, including the Sarus cranes, which often migrate to the area from Cambodia between December and April.

Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Dang Tuyet / Tuoi Tre

Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam. Photo: Dang Tuyet / Tuoi Tre

However, in recent years, the number of cranes migrating to Tram Chim has decreased drastically, from some 1,000 in the 1990s to zero in 2020.

There are around 15,000-20,000 Sarus cranes around the world, according to the International Crane Foundation. 8,000-10,000 of these cranes live in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. 

In mainland Southeast Asia – mainly in Vietnam and Cambodia – there are around 160 Sarus cranes, the foundation added.

The Sarus crane is listed as ‘vulnerable’ in accordance with the IUCN Red List.

In addition to carrying out preparations to receive the two cranes from Laos, a working delegation from Dong Thap Province is set to visit Thailand later this month to discuss a cooperative agreement to bring Sarus crane eggs to Tram Chim National Park.

Under the project, it is expected that 10 mature cranes will be successfully released into the wild each year, and that number will rise to 100 cranes in 10 years.

Thailand has succeeded in maintaining a group of about 200 Sarus cranes for the past 50 years, according to Dr. Triet.

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