Vladimir Putin flies hang glider to lead birds
RUSSIAN president Vladimir Putin has taken to the skies, piloting a motorised hang glider to lead a group of white cranes as they migrate.
In what is probably Mr Putin’s most bizarre publicity stunt yet, the former KGB man attempted to further his public image of being an adventurer by climbing into the pilot’s chair of a hang glider and making a vain attempt to lead a group of young Siberian white cranes.
Dressed in a white costume meant to imitate an adult crane, Mr Putin took part in a project to teach the endangered birds who were raised in captivity to follow the aircraft on their migration to Central Asia.
However, it was reported that only one crane followed Mr Putin on his first flight, which he attributed to high winds that caused the hang glider to travel faster than usual.
On the second flight, five birds followed Mr Putin, but after a few circles only two had stuck with him.
Mr Putin had stopped off at the Kushavet ornithological research station on the Yamal Peninsula on his way to an international summit in Vladivostok.
Mr Putin is well known for his macho stunts, having previously been pictured hunting, fishing, and horse riding while bare-chested, riding with a Russian motorcycle gang, putting an electronic tag on a polar bear, and giving judo lessons.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
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