Black Stork Baby

Full-blown corona crisis. A quarantine for freedom protects an uncommon bird species, the black stork. They are proud, shy birds. Their elegance and call make them seducers of the old forests, marshes and wetlands. These black storks were born in captivity and have landed in LABIOMISTA after a guided trip through Europe. They have arrived at a site that is pregnant with ideas and with life.

Finally, LABIOMISTA can unfold and give life to a bird that lands in a place designated for them. In a “Protected Paradise.” A vast plain of 12 hectares, bordering the water. A place where the wilderness rules. Surrounded by forests, by tranquility. A transition zone also to our pride, the Hoge Kempen National Park (NPHK), a unique and vast nature reserve of 12000 ha.

Together with the NPHK, UHasselt Field Research Center, and the City of Genk, we welcome these magnificent birds in LABIOMISTA, where they will be part of a rewilding project. A temporary refuge has been constructed to shelter the birds at LABIOMISTA. LABIOMISTA thus hopes to become the location from where the young black storks can regain full freedom, start their annual migration and roam in search of new wetlands and lush forests.

The Field Research Center UHasselt will chip the birds so that we always know the whereabouts of our globetrotters. The future will show whether this place will become their permanent breeding ground and whether their descendants will repopulate our national parks.

Their future depends on forgotten memories.
You’re more than welcome Black Stork Baby!

 - Koen Vanmechelen

Temporary installation
With special thanks to the Zwartberg community who collaborated on the construction of the temporary bird shelter.


Myths and legends, the building blocks of our civilization, live through time.

They mutate, they transform, but they always retain their strength and vitality. The statue “Protecting the Other” is the guardian of “Protected Paradise,” which symbolizes the transition between the domesticated world and pure nature. She is the Muse of the Guardian, who is watching over the Ark.

She is a transformed being that connects with the forests and the fi elds. A symbol of freedom and strength.

Pregnant with desire to dissolve in the vastness of pure nature as a messenger and a healer of unrest.

Whoever sees her can look into the future.

    - Koen Vanmechelen

The Battery Channel reports on BLACK STORK BABY, discover more about the project in this video;