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05 Jul 2021 SEDGE straws protect the endangered Sarus crane

When you think of a straw, you don’t link with a crane.

Yet these subjects are inextricably connected. In Vietnam, the Sarus Crane is a “sacred bird” that carries the souls of the dead to heaven. This animal has been one of the most revered animal species in Southeast Asia since ancient times. Even though the Sarus crane is protected by law, the population decline is of unprecedented magnitude. SEDGE’s straws help to protect this bird.

How? Discover it in this blog!

What makes the Sarus crane special?

The Sarus Crane is the highest flying bird in the world, measuring almost 2 meters in size. You immediately recognize a Sarus crane: a redhead, slim build, and a gray plumage that flies gracefully through the air. And their partner? A crane never leaves him or her alone! They stay together for the rest of their lives and never divorce. Speaking of true love …

For that reason, it is not surprising that the beautiful bird is a sign of happiness and love, according to the Vietnamese. Therefore it is very promising if you see a crane on your first day of work or just before a trip. On the other hand, you will only experience bad luck in your life if you kill the animal or eat its eggs.

The link between Buddha and the Sarus crane

The Sarus Crane is more than an elegant animal. According to an old legend, the young prince Siddhartha (later known as Buddha) got a wounded crane on his feet. It was a Sarus crane, attacked from the sky with an arrow. He took care of the wound, took the weapon out of the animal, and gave it love. A few days later, his cousin, Devadatta, arrived at the palace. He was the one who shot the crane from the sky and claimed the bird belonged to him. The dispute went to court. There the judge ruled that Prince Siddhartha could keep the crane. After all, he saved the animal. This bird still has a special meaning for Buddhists.

The biggest threat to the Sarus crane

Even though the beautiful species is so important to the Vietnamese, the animal is seriously endangered. Human disturbance of the Vietnamese wetlands is the main reason for the population decline. These wetlands were the crane’s habitat and their place to breed and hibernate.

Due to the conversion of the wet swamps into dry land for intensive agricultural use, the population only existed of 10 Sarus cranes at its deepest point. A major problem which had to be addressed immediately! The population has now grown to at least 600 cranes, partly thanks to initiatives to restore these wetlands.

A straw with a story

SEDGE is such an initiative that, on the one hand, improves the livelihoods of the local population and, on the other hand, protects the Sarus crane. How? By placing the original vegetation: reed, or more specifically, Grey sedge! The use of reeds for everyday objects is an ancient Vietnamese tradition. The production and sale of straws, made of reed, not only increase the income of the population, but the Sarus crane is also reclaiming its habitat. All in all, a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution!

Of course, we cannot do it alone. That’s why we need your help. Discover our full story on www.sedge.be and take a look at our products.

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