Congratulations to our friends at the Calgary Zoo! Colleen Baird, spokesperson for the Calgary Zoo says a Whooping crane egg hatched at the zoo for the first time in three years.
The Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre is the captive breeding facility managed by the Calgary Zoo. It is one of five captive breeding centers for Whooping cranes in North America and the only one in Canada.
A total of six fertile eggs were produced by Whooping cranes at the conservation center this year — five of them have been sent to other facilities in North America, including the International Crane Foundation and the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center to supplement reintroduction programs of the endangered bird.
Canada is home to the world’s only naturally occurring population of whooping cranes. All of the Whooping cranes alive today are descendants of Whoopers that hatched in the remote northern nesting grounds at Wood Buffalo National Park, which straddles Alberta and the Northwest Territories. The birds were close to extinction in the 1940s due to hunting and habitat loss. Only 15 survived at that time.