The San Antonio Zoo now has a habitat for the endangered whooping crane. The habitat is called Back from the Brink, because the whooping crane was nearly extinct in 1956, when only 16 of them survived in the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife gave the zoo its approval to start a successful breeding program for the cranes. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums gave the zoo the prestigious North American Conservation Award in 2016.
This new habitat features shallow, grassy wetlands with beautiful landscaping in addition to pure well water. All of these elements create a suitable environment for breeding. In 1967, Rosie was able to produce offspring and since then the zoo has been instrumental in developing techniques to help other institutions successfully breed Whooping cranes.
Whooping cranes are only one of two crane species found in North America and are listed as endangered. Adults can reach up to five feet tall with a wingspan of up to seven feet and their whooping calls can be heard for up to two miles. While populations are steadily increasing, they are still faced with habitat loss and over-hunting. Having the Back from the Brink habitat here at the zoo will help with conservation efforts by educating the public on Whooping cranes and what they can do to help protect their natural homes.
Photo: Courtesy San Antonio Zoo