Days after viral video, UP man’s ‘friend’ bird ‘missing’; Akhilesh Yadav blames Yogi govt

Mar 23, 2023 10:10 AM IST

The crane bird has gone missing after being taken away from its ‘friend’ Arif in Uttar Pradesh. Last month, the two were seen sharing an 'inseperable friendship' bond in a viral video.

Days after the viral video of a man and bird sharing a heartwarming bond of ‘friendship’ in Uttar Pradesh went viral, the Sarus crane bird is now reportedly missing. Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav sharing the news on Thursday tweeted a screenshot of a local news report which said the bird had been taken away from Arif to be released in the Samaspur Bird Sanctuary but has been ‘missing’ since Wednesday.

Arif seen hanging around with the crane bird in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi.
Arif seen hanging around with the crane bird in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi.

Labelling the incident ‘shameful’, Yadav said, “The famous bird, which was forcibly taken away from Amethi by the UP Forest Department and released in the Samaspur Bird Sanctuary in Rae Bareilly, is now missing. Such government negligence towards the state bird of UP is a serious matter.”

He further warned the ruling Yogi Adityanath's Bharatiya Janata Party government to immediately locate the bird or else “the bird lovers of the whole world will agitate.”

In February, the story of the friendship between Arif and the crane went viral when the two were seen hanging around together. Arif would ride his two-wheeler in his hometown Amethi and the crane would try to catch up with his speed in a bid to reunite with its ‘friend’. The two became friends after Arif saved the bird's life when it was injured.

As per the news report shared by the SP chief, the bird was released into a Rai Bareilly-based sanctuary on Tuesday but since Wednesday evening, it has been ‘missing’. The report quoted regional forest officer Rupesh Srivastava saying that a team has been deployed to find the bird. According to the officials, the Sarus crane is the state bird of UP and the common public is not allowed to pet them which is why it was taken away from Arif.

Akhilesh Yadav, who had expressed displeasure over the bird being taken away, had also paid a visit to Arif’s home after the video went viral, to witness their ‘friendship’.


    Trainee Content Producer for Hindustan Times Digital Streams. I read about feminism, late modern history, and globalisation of Korean music.

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