Rare bird gets new leg after B.C. golf ball injury

A rare sandhill crane lost its leg after being hit by a stray golf ball at a Richmond, B.C., golf course.

The bird is standing up once again, thanks to a peg leg provided by a wildlife rehabilitation centre.

"The crane was brought in because he was hit by a golf ball and his lower leg was shattered, so the vet, Dr. Ken MacQuisten, tried to see if it would work possibly with surgery," Elizabeth Melnick, who runs Elizabeth's Wildlife Centre in Abbotsford, told CBC News.

"It just wasn't a go. So [MacQuisten] decided to amputate the lower leg and now he's getting a prosthesis put in."

The crane was fitted with a temporary limb. Once the stump is fully healed, a permanent prosthesis will be attached.

There are very few sandhill cranes in the Lower Mainland. Melnick told CBC News that in the 27 years she's been running her wildlife centre, this is the first one she has come across.

"This is a very unusual patient," MacQuisten said in a video interview. "He's unusual in the sense that there are very few sandhill cranes in the Lower Mainland, here, but he's unusually tame for a wild bird,"

"He makes a great subject to see if we can do something to help him with the ultimate goal of sending him back out onto the golf course."