- Associated Press - Monday, December 17, 2018

YULEE, Fla. (AP) - Three endangered Mississippi sandhill cranes that hatched earlier this year at a Florida conservation center have been reintroduced to the wild.

White Oak Conservation officials said in a news release that the cranes were released last week at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge near Gautier, Mississippi.

Officials say only about 130 Mississippi sandhill cranes and 34 breeding pairs remain in the wild. White Oaks’ breeding and reintroduction program is designed to support the survival of this species.

The three sandhill cranes hatched in the spring. They’re offspring of a pair of cranes that came to the center in 2016 from the Audubon Species Survival Center. The program began in 1994 and since then 109 cranes have been born and reintroduced into the wild.

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