Biologists say Louisiana whooping crane eggs will not hatch

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The first pair of whooping crane eggs laid in Louisiana in more than 75 years will not hatch.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Friday that the eggs, spotted in a nest in a crawfish pond, have passed the 30-day incubation period. The eggs were found to be infertile after state biologists collected them.

State officials say that's not really a surprise, as whooping cranes typically don't successfully hatch chicks until they are at least 4 years old. Louisiana released whooping cranes in 2011 in hopes of re-establishing them in the state. Of the 50 cranes that have been released, 30 survive. Only a few have reached reproductive age, though, and only three pairs of cranes have bonded.

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