This is one of those “JUST WHAT THE **** WERE YOU THINKING?!” moments.
A hunter, culling herons (?) , managed to kill the only female stork currently nesting outside the Toyooka stork breeding program. At 30 metres range and front on, he mistook the bird for a heron. (TV news went to great lengths to show how front-on the two birds look similar.. I mean, they are both birds. AND… they are both white, and…err…)
MAY 20, 2017
MATSUE, SHIMANE PREF. – Hunter shoots rare stork by mistake
KYODO — An oriental white stork, a species designated as a special national treasure, was mistakenly killed Friday by a hunter in Shimane Prefecture, the local police and education board said.
The education board said that a member of a hunting group shot the female stork after mistaking it for a heron.
The Unnan City Education Board said the 5-year-old stork laid eggs in March and that four had hatched so far.
Since Japan’s wild storks disappeared in 1971, this was only the second such hatching in the wild that was not part of the breeding project in and around Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture.
Since 2007, the large black-and-white birds with long beaks, necks and legs have been breeding in the wild around Toyooka, home to a major rearing facility called the Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork.
Satoshi Yamagishi, head of the park, said the accident was very regrettable.
“I can guess how local people waiting for the fledglings feel,” he said, adding that he hopes the chicks grow up safely.
The chicks have been taken the the Toyooka facility where it is hoped that they can be raised and released into the wild.
And, hopefully, they WON’T BE MISTAKEN FOR HERONS.