COLLINS, NY — The last of 1,200 pheasants took flight Friday after being raised and cared for by Erie County inmates.

The release is part of a wildlife rehab partnership between the county's Jail Management Division and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The day old chicks arrived at the Erie County Correctional Facility this past spring and were kept in coops, then protected flight pens until they were ready for release.

Friday, the remaining Ringneck pheasants were set free at the Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area in Collins. It's hoped the effort will eventually increase the fowl's population.