Everyone in the Punta Gorda area has seen the mated pair of sandhill cranes that live in the vicinity of the Walmart store on the corner of North Jones Loop Road and Taylor Road. Each spring, long before the store was built there in 2007, this pair has raised their families, consisting of one or two colts — baby sandhill cranes — a year. As the youngsters get older, the family strolls around the grounds of the store’s parking lot and its busy roads, never in a hurry. Local folk are aware of this beautiful crane family, and for the most part, slow down or stop as necessary to ensure the safety of the birds. Until recently.
This year, the Walmart cranes have two colts again. And again, as they have in previous years, the colts are at the fledgling age where they are starting to get their adult flight feathers and walking about with their parents. Unfortunately, this year a driver did not stop to allow the cranes to cross the road. Other drivers had slowed or stopped for the family as it crossed over Taylor Road this past Friday, but observers claim one driver made no attempt to avoid the slow-moving birds. Some claim it looked like he may have intentionally hit the bird.
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