Monday, September 26, 2005

ENV: White Stork Release

White Storks Fly in Japan
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, September 25, 2005

TOKYO, Sept. 24 (Agence France-Presse) - Five white storks flew into open skies from a park in Hyogo Province in western Japan on Saturday as part of an effort to return the endangered species to the wild.

Prince Akishino and his wife, Kiko, cut a red-and-white ribbon to open a box and release the first of the five storks. Thousands of spectators cheered as the white birds with black-edged wings flew away. It was the first time that artificially bred Oriental white storks had been released, a park official said. Japan's last wild stork died in protective captivity in 1971.