Young sandhill cranes moved to refuge

Published 11:31 pm Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eight young sandhill cranes have been brought to Mississippi from the Audubon Center in New Orleans, where they were raised in captivity after hatching about six months ago.

The young cranes did not immediately join the 110 others on the 20,000-acre Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge.

Instead, the 4-foot-tall, 10- to 12-pound youngsters were each fitted Tuesday a radio transmitter pack. They were placed into a 2-acre pen at the refuge to begin a socialization process.

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After 30 days, the birds will be freed into the refuge.

The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge opened in 1975.

The refuge includes about 9,000 acres at Gautier and Ocean Springs and about 2,000 acres at the Fontainebleau site.