A Crane with a Crush

Season 2
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sidedoor: ep. 21 | a crane with a crush

Chris Crowe, an animal keeper for the Smithsonian, has an unlikely bond with Walnut, a female white-naped crane. Despite their obvious differences, she chose him as her mate. For Crowe, their relationship has high stakes: it impacts the future of an entire species. Venture with Sidedoor to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute to meet this unconventional couple, and find out how their connection could be key to white-naped crane survival.

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute works every day to conserve and sustain endangered species like white-naped cranes. And while the Institute may be closed to the public, you can always see incredible animals at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo! Can’t get enough of Walnut’s story? Check out this video produced by Smithsonian Channel. You can hear and learn from amazing Smithsonian experts like Chris Crowe thanks to Smithsonian Associates—they put on incredible, thoughtful programming almost every day of the year!

2024 Update: Our Zoo community is mourning the loss of Walnut, a white-naped crane who became an internet sensation for choosing one of her keepers, Chris Crowe, as her mate. She was 42 years old, far surpassing the median life expectancy for white-naped cranes in human care, which is 15 years. Learn more about Walnut.

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