There are two more whooping cranes in the Wisconsin wilderness, courtesy of the Calgary Zoo. The zoo announced Tuesday that they’ve donated a pair of one-year-old baby whooping cranes to the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Wisconsin.

“We’re so proud that these young birds were parent-reared at Calgary and recently released at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Wisconsin, led by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership. 

“The cranes are continuing to acclimate to their new home, and we look forward to watching them migrate with this year’s new wild chicks in the fall,” said Calgary Zoo’s senior veterinarian and International Whooping Crane Recovery Team member, Dr. Sandie Black.  

The young birds, one male and one female, were originally supposed to have been released a year ago, but weather and paperwork obstacles prevented that from happening.

Special care was taken by the zoo staff to teach the young birds how to forage for food as well as other life skills they will need to thrive in the Wisconsin wilderness.

It’s another small victory for the whooping crane, which was down to 21 birds in the wilderness back in the 1940’s.

According to the zoo , there are an estimated 868 wild whooping cranes in four different distinct populations.