NECEDAH, Wis. (AP) -- Five of the seven whooping crane chicks that hatched in a Wisconsin wildlife refuge this year have apparently died.
The deaths are a setback to wildlife officials hoping to boost the population of the endangered birds.
The chicks hatched this spring at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.
Joan Garland of the International Crane Foundation says one chick has been found dead. She tells Wisconsin Public Radio four other chicks are missing and were possibly killed by predators.
Even with two survivors, the crane migration will still go on this fall.
Garland says she hopes the two will be among the 24 birds migrating south for the first time this fall. They'll either migrate behind older cranes or an ultralight aircraft.
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/necedah/
1908 Grand Avenue, Wausau, WI 54403
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