MILWAUKEE — A conservation effort involving an ultralight plane leading endangered whooping cranes South for the winter has been forced to stop short of its Florida destination.
Officials decided Thursday to stay in Alabama.
The nine young cranes and the crew involved in Operation Migration have been in northern Alabama since before Christmas.
The flock started from a Wisconsin wildlife area in October. Their destination was the Florida wetlands.
The crew had tried several times to get the birds to follow the aircraft since mid-December, but the birds have not been cooperative.
Operation Migration spokeswoman Liz Condie said biologists and other experts decided Thursday that the birds will be put in crates and transported by road to Alabama's Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge for the rest of the winter.
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