GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - It was a fun-filled day for families out at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge.
The refuge hosted its annual Crane Fest on Saturday, inviting people out to learn more about wildlife conservation. There were educational booths set up as well as presentations throughout the day allowing people to see bats, reptiles and birds of prey up close and personal.
The guests of honor for the day were three Mississippi Sandhill Cranes that were recently transferred to the refuge. People got the rare chance to view the critically endangered species before they’re released into the wild.
The refuge said the goal of the event was to showcase the work they do promote and preserve wildlife resources along the Gulf Coast.
“I think the more folks understand the type of work that we’re doing, it’s almost like deputizing them to be rangers. They learn more about what we’re doing out here. They see the cranes, they see the beautiful habitat that we have out here, and the hope is that they’ll protect it into the future,” said refuge ranger Melissa Perez.
The refuge hosts the Crane Fest every year in December.