A red-crowned crane seems to be inspecting its recently-attached aluminum leg, repeatedly using its beak to tap away at the prosthesis while standing apparently bother-free inside a cage at the Kushiro City Zoo in Hokkaido in mid-September.

"The prosthetic leg from before didn't match and I just got finished changing it. I hope this one suits it better," explained Hiroko Iima, 40, a veterinarian at the zoo.

The majestic birds, named for a bare patch of red skin on top of their head, are among the largest and rarest crane species on Earth.