North American Crane Working Group


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Olsen, Glenn H. H. and Wise, Michael. Ingested metal in whooping cranes: an endoscopic technique for removal and implications for the release program. In: Ellis, David H., ed., Proceedings of the Eighth North American Crane Workshop, 11–14 January 2000, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Seattle, Wash: North American Crane Working Group, 2001), pp. 198-202.


Reproduced by permission of the North American Crane Working Group (NACWG).


Since 1993 when the whooping crane (Grus americana) release program in Florida started, 21 whooping cranes at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (patuxent) have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal foreign bodies (primarily metal objects). A technique for safely removing these objects has been developed. The technique uses a flexible gastric endoscope to enter the proventriculus or ventriculus, and a snare or forceps passed down a channel of the endoscope to retrieve the foreign bodies. The technique is very successful, with the whooping crane usually back to its pen the next day. The longterm survival of the whooping cranes from which gastrointestinal foreign bodies were removed was comparable to the survival of whooping cranes released with no history of gastrointestinal foreign bodies.