• Kyodo

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The crested ibis protection center said Sunday that one of the nine pairs of the internationally protected bird under its care has produced the first egg of the year.

The center said it hopes the egg will hatch naturally.

The wild crested ibis died out in Japan in 2003. The Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center, on Sado Island off Niigata, now looks after 80 birds raised from those imported from China.