The Milwaukee County Zoo assists the International Crane Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, acting as a medical care location for injured whooping cranes. In 2006, the Zoo accepted an injured juvenile whooping crane from the program, named Torch, whose broken wing prevented him from being re-released into the wild. In 2008, the Zoo received a female, named Tiki, who will hopefully serve as a mate for Torch.
The International Crane Foundation’s Whooping Crane Recovery Program includes captive-rearing, release and management of wild cranes, the development of new release techniques to bolster the existing population and educational public outreach programs to inform the public about the plight of cranes.The Whooping Crane Recovery Programs’ efforts have greatly improved the number of wild cranes from a low of 16 in 1940, to what is now more than 430 whooping cranes living in the wild.