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Six more Wisconsin whooping cranes begin journey to Florida

HORICON - Six more Wisconsin baby whooping cranes have started their journey to Florida, to try and mate with other birds and grow the crane population in the Eastern U.S.

For the first time, a coalition called the "Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership" is having young birds fly with older cranes who've made the trip before. They left on Monday from the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in Dodge County.

A half-dozen other baby cranes left Green Lake County on September 28th with the help of an ultra-light pilot. One of those birds died in northern Illinois after breaking her left femur. The group Operation Migration is overseeing that part of the journey - and those cranes have been stuck in Piatt County, Illinois since last Saturday due to strong winds.

This is the 12th year of the migration project - and as a result, the partnership says there are now 110 whooping cranes in the wild in eastern North America.