Crane released in southwest Indiana after year of recovery

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A sandhill crane that spent nearly a year in captivity at a southern Indiana wildlife rehabilitation center has been released back into the wild.

When the 4-foot-tall male bird was released Sunday at southwestern Indiana's Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, it jumped from its crate, shook its wings and walked away from a crowd of humans into the nature preserve.

Wildcare Inc. water bird team leader Amanda Wrigley tells The Herald-Times the bird was released following "a yearlong miracle journey."

The once-ailing crane was brought to WildCare Inc. near Bloomington last June from New Albany, where it had been begging residents for food since mid-May. The bird couldn't fly because it had become encrusted in insect urine called "honey dew" that falls from tulip poplars each summer.

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