POSTED: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 4:45pm
UPDATED: Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 12:00pm
Vermillion Parish, La (NBC33) — An endangered species is making a comeback here in Louisiana.
Over a dozen whooping cranes were released back into the wild by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
This is the second group released into the Whitelake Conservation Area this year in Vermillion Parish.
Under 600 of these birds are left in the world, and wildlife officials say getting those numbers up hasn't been easy.
"We're very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring them back to Louisiana. It's part of our natural heritage,” stated Robert Love, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “The birds have significant challenges making it on their own with predation and disease and learning to adapt to the environment, and we certainly don't need to throw more obstacles their way with people shooting them or harassing them."
In March of this year, a group of ten cranes were released and only three survived; two of those original ten were shot by kids.