Whooping crane chick: Louisiana's 1st in wild since 1939
NEW ORLEANS- For the first time since 1939, a whooping crane chick has hatched in the wild in Louisiana.
Biologist Sara Zimorski of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Tuesday she's been smiling all day.
She says a department technician spotted the chick Monday evening.
Whooping cranes are among the world's most endangered birds. Only about 600 exist, all descended from 15 in Texas.
Two other pairs have laid eggs that were fertile but never hatched. Biologists collected the eggs and found dead embryos.
A fourth pair laid eggs a couple of weeks ago. Hatching usually takes about 30 days.
State and federal wildlife officials have been working since 2011 to create a wild flock of whooping cranes in the general area where Louisiana's last wild flock once lived.