RIP D.C.-area crane that went viral for falling in love with zookeeper
A white-naped crane named Walnut — who lived at the Smithsonian's research campus in Front Royal, Va., and became famous for "falling in love" with her human zookeeper there — recently died of natural causes.
Why it matters: This is 100% a story that should be optioned by Netflix — cranes mate for life, and Walnut just so happened to "imprint" on a keeper named Chris Crowe (yes, Crowe).
Catch up fast: Crowe helped to breed the member of the vulnerable species by "courting" her, gifting her sticks and straw for building nests and dead mice (what every girl wants).
- Walnut was also kind of a badass: She lived to 42, considered geriatric for this species. Before she met Crowe, she apparently had been known for murdering male cranes who tried to make passes at her.
- And she had several babies — essential for the continuation of white-naped cranes.
RIP, Walnut — forever an icon.
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