Injured whooping crane dies after losing leg

January 18, 2014 1:52:15 PM PST
An injured whooping crane captured by biologists in South Texas has died at the San Antonio Zoo, where it was being treated after losing a leg.

The San Antonio-Express News reports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the 21-year-old whooping crane, captured last month, was showing improvements at the zoo but died Monday. The whooping crane was treated by the zoo for 30 days.

The agency says the injury likely came from a predator. After the amputation of the left leg, the right leg deteriorated because of overcompensation.

The agency says the animal was part of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population, the only natural wild flock of whooping cranes. The flock has an estimated 279 birds.

The whooping crane's lifespan averages between 22 and 24 years.

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