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updated: 6/7/2014 10:02 AM

Chicago's zoo welcomes 4 trumpeter swans

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Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo is the new home of some fowls that are training to become wild birds.

The zoo announced Friday it recently welcomed four trumpeter swan cygnets to the McCormick Swan Pond. They are now following their parents around.

The swans are scheduled to be released into the wild this fall in Iowa as part of a reintroduction program the zoo has with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Between now and then, they'll be learning how to be better swimmers and feed independently on seeds, grains, wetland plants, insects and small fish so they can survive in the wild.

The zoo has already released into the wild more than 40 trumpeter swans, which are the largest waterfowl in North America.

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