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Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 05/26/2010

Zoo announces the birth of two cranes

By Washington Post editors

National Zoo officials announced Wednesday that two rare white-naped crane chicks hatched at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal.

The chicks, whose gender is not yet known, were born on May 12 and May 14.

The biological mother of both chicks was artificially inseminated after she laid her first eggs at the end of March. The eggs that successfully hatched were laid April 10 and 13. The incubation period ranges from 28 to 32 days.

The first chick is being raised by an experienced pair of white-naped cranes, and the second chick is being raised by first-time parents that include its biological mother.

White-naped cranes are large birds that typically grow about four feet tall and weigh about 12 pounds. They are dark-gray in color with a distinctive white hind neck. The wild population has decline because of destruction of its native wetland habitats in China, Russia and Korea. Currently, scientists estimate there are about 5,000 in the wild. There are 12 cranes at the Smithsonian's institute.

By Washington Post editors  | May 26, 2010; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Maryland, Virginia  | Tags:  National Zoo, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute  
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So, how what freaky "accident" will cause their demise?

Posted by: ah___ | May 26, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

So, how what freaky "accident" will cause their demise?
It's only a matter of time.

And of course they'll have some lame excuse like they have for all the other many animals that have died through neglect and incompetence.

Posted by: checkered1 | May 26, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

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