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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries opens public Whooping Crane art exhibit

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BATON ROUGE - Sunday was the first public exhibit date for the Whooping Crane Art Show at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

More than 60 artists from around the state and 50 students in East Baton Rouge schools participated in the project and submitted mixed media art pieces of whooping cranes. 

Currently, there are 82 whooping cranes living in Louisiana and 840 in North America.

"The whooping crane is the most endangered bird species in Louisiana. Cranes, in general, are the most endangered species in the world," Larry Reynolds, director of Wildlife Protection and Conservation Management at LDWF, said.

In 1950, the last whooping crane in Louisiana was moved to the Western Flock near Texas to be able to reproduce. It wasn't until 2011 that the birds were re-introduced to the state through a reintroduction program.

"I see the enthusiasm kind of weaning off. I mean, it's been 13 years and there are people out there who think this species time may be passed, but we don't know yet. We are still making progress towards our reintroduction goals and that decision, I think, needs to come later," Reynolds said.

The foundation says they decided to get creative when they were contacted by a local artist, Margo Brault, who suggested they host an art exhibit and auction to raise money for the cause.

"I came across Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries website and saw all of these videos about the whooping crane reintroduction project and I realized they're not extinct. When I was a kid, I always thought they had gone extinct, so I was filled with all of this hope," Brault said.

Brault says she hopes to inspire others to join efforts to save the species.

"Here is something I think humans should be doing. Spending our time and efforts improving the World, helping other species, and each other," Brault said.

The Whooping Crane Art Show will be open to the public February 18-27.

To find out how you can help with the reintroduction efforts, you can click here.

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