The western population of Siberian Cranes is on its last legs. Every year one of them, Omid, flies 6,000 kms to the north of Iran, on the southern banks of the Caspian Sea. It’s the only Siberian Crane left that makes this particular journey (he has missed two years of the last 16). He winters in Iran for about a third of each year. He is carefully tracked. “Locals are very much fond of him,” says this Tehran Times article.
I’ve only followed news of him, courtesy of the International Crane Foundation, for the last couple of years. Omid means hope. Does he symbolize hope to me, in line with each year’s bubbly article? Not at all. I’ve dreamt of witnessing this critically endangered species. But I shudder at the thought of journeying to Iran, raising my binoculars, and gazing upon this beautiful bird, destined to arrive here each year, all alone, until it too dies.