Rare stork hatches in Japan

May 21, 2007 at 2:35 AM

TOKYO, May 21 (UPI) -- When an Oriental white stork broke out of its eggshell recently it marked the first time one of the rare birds hatched in the wild in Japan in 43 years.

The new chick, which emerged from its shell in a nest atop a nearly 40-foot tall pole in western Japan, was born to parents who were the product of artificial insemination, the BBC reported Sunday.

Oriental white storks, which are officially designated a national treasure in Japan, were wiped out in the country by the 1980s. Conservationists have been rebuilding the endangered species with the help of birds donated by Russia. About a dozen of storks born in captivity and released but the new chick is the first known to have been born in the wild in Japan since 1964, the BBC said.

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