HCG-WD donates coins for cranes

By Ardith Van Riper

     Coins collected from the waterfall pool at Ho-Chunk Gaming - Wisconsin Dells are donated to the International Crane Foundation.  On Thursday, December 12, 2019, delegates from the International Crane Foundation (ICF) accepted the donation.

     Visitor Program Manager Cully Shelton from the ICF announced, “We’re accepting a donation from the Nation for the International Crane Foundation in efforts to conserve cranes.  The change really made a difference.  The change that is collected here in the fountains help preserve the endangered crane species found here on our planet.”

     Ho-Chunk Gaming – Wisconsin Dells maintenance department drains the water.  They perform upkeep on the waterfall pool each year, and the past two or three years, the coins collected during upkeep are donated.

     Agriculturist Allyce Vogel from the ICF said, “The donation goes towards our enrichment program.  This will go a long way to helping us provide items for our captive flocks to keep their physiological health in good standing, providing them with a lot of novel opportunities and give them a good life.”

     Their captive flocks’, which consists of more than 100 of these elegant birds, daily diet is a pelleted diet and nutritionally complete.  However, the menu is repetitive and uninteresting.  Providing a variety of products gives the cranes something to enrich their lives, makes things interesting, and stimulating.

     “With enrichment, you’re trying to promote natural behaviors and encourage that.  Foraging is one of the biggest things cranes do in the wild,” explained Vogel.  “We can give them a variety of different food items that sometimes they eat, and sometimes they just play with.”

     Cranes enjoy fruits and vegetables like lettuce, apples, cranberries, pomegranates, peanuts, pumpkins, and sweetcorn.  In addition to the coins, Ho-Chunk Gaming – Wisconsin Dells donates fresh produce weekly to the ICF.

     “We are so thankful for the generosity of the Ho-Chunk Nation to provide us with this opportunity to help protect the cranes that are found here in Wisconsin and around the world,” said Shelton.

     The International Crane Foundation is located approximately two miles from the casino. Find more information about their organization at Savingcranes.org.