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Injured whooping crane recovering


UNDATED (WSAU)   A Wisconsin whooping crane is back in the wild, after having one of its toes amputated due to an injury. The baby crane was among a dozen that flew last fall from the Badger State to a pair of refuges in Florida, as part of a 12-year-old effort to boost the population of the endangered bird in the eastern U-S. According to the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, somebody saw a crane limping on the outskirts of North Miami early last month. The bird was captured in late January and taken to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where veterinarians amputated its right middle toe. The crane was then taken to a national refuge in Meigs County Tennessee to be re-connected with a number of birds, including sandhill cranes. The baby was released last Saturday.

The Eastern Partnership said it was the first time in the 12 years of the migration program that an injured bird could re-join other nesting animals after treatment. The whooper was part of a group of six that left Horicon, and flew to a reserve in Florida’s Everglades – the farthest south that Wisconsin cranes had flown in the program. Over 110 cranes still take part in the migration effort. The veterans reach Florida on their own, after being guided in their first years.