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Record 8 fledged chicks for Louisiana's wild 'whoopers'

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An International Crane Foundation official says it's exciting that a record eight whooping cranes have taken wing in Louisiana after hatching in the wild. The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says it's not just a Louisiana record for the world's rarest crane, but one for any flock reintroduced to the wild to help save the endangered bird.

The previous record of six was set in 2018, in the flock that was taught to migrate between Wisconsin and Florida by following ultralight aircraft. Both flocks are being nurtured in hope of creating a cushion if anything happens to the only natural flock, which migrates between Texas and Alberta, Canada.