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INGESTED METAL IN WHOOPING CRANES: AN ENDOSCOPIC TECHNIQUE 
FOR REMOVAL AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE RELEASE PROGRAM 

GLENN H. OLSEN, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, 12302 Beech Forest Dr., Laurel, MD 20708, USA 

MICHAEL WISE, 21609 Goshen Oaks Road, Laytonsville, MD 20882 USA 

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 long-term 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. 

PROCEEDINGS NORTH AMERICAN CRANE WORKSHOP 8: 198-202 

Key words: endoscope, Florida, gastroscope, gastrointestinal system, Grus americana, metal foreign body, reintroduction, release, ventriculus, whooping crane.

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