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Animal rescue workers aim to bring whooping cranes back to Louisiana

The whooping crane, an endangered animal that has been in the public eye for years, first left its famous breeding ground near White Lake, Louisiana, more than 60 years ago. For the first time since then, animal rescue workers are working to help bring the birds back to the state, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Workers began relocation in early February, beginning with 10 cranes who had been raised in captivity. They hope that the relocation will allow the bird population to thrive, making their long-term survival more likely.

“This is magical,” Robert Barham, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, told the news source. The organization is the primary group working on the relocation effort. “They are part of the whole ecosystem, and their return will enhance this place.”

Biologists removed the birds from the area when they were nearing extinction due to flooding, destruction of their natural habitat and hunting.

According to the Whooping Crane Conservation Association, there are approximately 360 adult and 47 young whooping cranes living in the U.S. The majority of these reside in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Texas. 
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