Whooping crane chick becomes bobcat victim

Published: Monday, May 29 2000 12:00 a.m. MDT

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- A whooping crane whose birth was the first documented in the U.S. wild in 60 years has died, apparently after an attack by a bobcat.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the bird was found Thursday in 2 inches of water with signs that it had been chewed and partially eaten, "conditions associated with bobcat predation."The chick, which was born in March, was hailed by biologists as the first solid sign of success in a 7-year-old program to reintroduce the rare birds to the wild in this country.

Excitement over the birth, however, was mitigated by the fact that the chick's chances for surviving to adulthood were slim since it was likely to be eaten by a predator.

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