Saturday, February 3, 2007

Endangered Cranes Killed in Fla. Storms

There are no words to describe this...
All 18 endangered young whooping cranes that were led south from Wisconsin last fall as part of a project to create a second migratory flock of the birds were killed in storms in Florida, a spokesman said.
The cranes were being kept in an enclosure at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge near Crystal River, Fla., when violent storms moved in Thursday night, said Joe Duff, co-founder of Operation Migration, the organization coordinating the project.
"The birds were checked in late afternoon the day before, and they were fine," he said Friday.
The area of the enclosure was unreachable by workers at night, and all the birds were found dead, Duff said. He speculated that a strong storm surge drew the tide in and overwhelmed the birds. The official cause of the deaths was not immediately known, but he said it may have been drowning.

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