Free as a bird! Kapotwe the Shoebill appears to smile as she is released into the wild after being rescued from poachers
by Kate Bevan
This is the heartwarming moment that Kapotwe, a young female shoebill, first spread her wings in Zambia’s Bangweulu wetlands after having been rescued as a chick from poachers.
The thieves steal the giant birds, which can stand up to 4ft tall, as chicks to sell to sell to the zoos and private collectors, who will pay up to $20,000 for a single bird.
Kapotwe was kept in a small grass hut in a fishing village, where she found and rescued by Zambia Wildlife Authority scouts before she could be sold on by the shady traders…
(read the whole story: Telegraph UK)
(photos: Morgan Trumble)