You may recall from a February 7th report that Whooping crane #13-12 had been captured and treated at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. ICF’s Tracking Field Manager, Eva Szyszkoski reported: Direct Autumn Release female no. 13-12 was reported with an undetermined leg injury on 7 January in Broward County, Florida. Over the course of the next couple weeks, observers reported that the severity of her limp was diminishing. PTT readings indicated location points in a nearby neighborhood by 13 January. On 25 January she was observed in the neighborhood and was reported as acting very listless and sitting down a lot with an injury to her right foot. She was captured on 26 January and transported to Disney’s Animal Kingdom where her right middle toe was amputated.
Last week, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Scott Terrell and the incredible folks at Disney this young female crane was transported by Scott Tidmus from Disney’s facility to the Hiwassee State Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County, TN to be released. Since then Eva has been monitoring her and reports she is adapting to walking on her foot after toe surgery; is no longer limping and is flying very well.
Let’s hope 13-12, nicknamed ‘Tussock’ continues to improve and will return to central Wisconsin this coming spring. Tussuck is the offspring of famous male Whooping Crane named Gee Whiz, who lived at ICF in Wisconsin. Gee Whiz is the only chick produced by Tex, the female Whooping Crane that ICF Co-founder George Archibald famously danced with to prepare her for laying eggs when nothing else worked.