N.E.W Zoo has home for endangered crane species

The N.E.W. Zoo, located in Green Bay, has a new exhibit with the endangered bird, Whooping Cranes. The exhibit houses two young cranes, 7-year-old Hunnicut, also known as Hunni, and 5-year-old McMillan, also named Millie, where they are adjusting well with each other and the Zoos caretakers. While Millie had a tragic end to her wildlife, she has found solace in her new partner, Hunnicut.

Although she was captive-reared, McMillan has spent most of her life as a wild bird. She is shy and cautious but has learned to trust her primary caretaker, Shannon. She bonded with Hunnicut quickly, and her confidence level has increased dramatically since his arrival. He has been around humans all his life. He is an outgoing bird interested in investigating his surroundings and is spending much of his time trying to impress his new mate.

From the N.E.W. Zoo & Adventure Park, Angela Kawski-Kroening says it wasn’t until recently that Whooping Cranes needed homes.

“Although we’ve always hoped to have this species at our Zoo, it wasn’t until September of 2018 that the Whooping Crane SSP announced a need for additional institutions to hold non-breeding birds. In October of 2018, the SSP coordinator for the species inspected the area where we planned to house cranes. She made several recommendations to bring the area into compliance and to meet the needs of this highly endangered species. In June of 2020, we completed the necessary changes. The application submitted to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service included staff and veterinarian resumes highlighting experience with other crane species and a recommendation from the SSP. The NEW Zoo & Adventure Park received approval from USFWS/CWS in July of 2020.”

Later that month, McMillan was injured in the wild in Wisconsin (one of the few places Whooping cranes nest). After her injuries were treated, it seemed likely that she would survive. She was transferred to the zoo in August 2020. Hunnicut, a crane, raised at the International Crane Foundation, joined her as a companion this spring.

The community that can support endangered species is to become a part of the Adopt an Animal program, where proceeds go to the care of the animal and the conservation programs devoted to that animal through the N.E.W. Zoo. Anyone that donates will receive a package about the animal that was adopted. The amount that is presented determines what will be received in the package. The current list of animals in the Adopt an Animal program and information about the tiers related to the program can be found here. The whooping cranes are not currently on the list but are anticipated to be added in the future. Another way to help the animals is to become a volunteer, which helps keep the grounds clean, help with events throughout the year, and connect with the zoo guests about the wildlife. A list of what volunteers do and how to become one can be found here. More information about the zoo, in general, can be found here.

The N.E.W Zoological Society and AZA Safe are partners of this exhibit in Green Bay.

For more information on how to help protect Whooping Cranes, visit the AZA SAFE website.

For more information on how to help protect Whooping Cranes, visit the AZA SAFE website.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: