Conservationists have made huge efforts to coax endangered whooping cranes to fly south. Still, the birds, who started their journey in Wisconsin, have alighted in Alabama and refuse to fly any further. So these conservationists will now deliver them, by truck, to their end destination in Florida.
In the past, volunteers have dressed like cranes and manned ultralight aircrafts, hoping the flock would follow them from Wisconsin to Florida. They even fought the FAA, doing everything in their power to help these cranes, who have been raised in a sanctuary with the goal of repopulating their numbers and re-establishing normal migration habits. Since no birds in the flock have migration experience, Operation Migration aims to guide them. It has worked well in the past! Check it out in the video above. (Start at 1:40 if you just want to see the ultralight part.)
But this year Operation Migration faced legal problems because some jerks complained that the ultralights were “commercial” aircrafts, and that they weren’t licensed with the FAA as such. The birds had to be grounded in Alabama for a bit. Now, the FAA has finally given the go-ahead, but it appears to be too late in the season for the cranes to find the motivation to make the rest of the 1900km trip. The unseasonably warm weather is not helping.
So, Operation Migration will continue on land. These are possibly the most spoiled wild animals in the whole world. No wonder they’ve gotten so bratty! [The New York Times]