Carencro, Louisiana

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Carencro[p] (historically French: St.-Pierre[1]) is a small city in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States. It is a suburb of the nearby city of Lafayette. The population was 6,120 at the 2000 census. Its name comes from the Louisiana Creole word for buzzard: the spot was one where large flocks of buzzards roosted in the bald cypress trees. The name means "carrion crow."

Carencro is part of the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area.

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Etymology

Many senior Carencro natives attest that the town's name originates from before the American Civil War. According to this local legend, Native Americans told Vermilionville settlers that in old times a large number of "carrion crows" (vultures, called carencro in French) had settled around the Vermilion River between Lafayette and Opelousas, Louisiana to feast on the large carcass of a stranded whale or unusual fish die-off.

There is a related theory, consistent with the spelling, that the place is named for the carencro tĂȘte rouge, a red-headed buzzard referred to by European explorers as early as 1699, and described in 1774 by Antoine-Simon Le Page du Pratz. Du Pratz described the bird as having black plumage and a head covered with red flesh. He said the Spanish government protected the birds, "for as they do not use the whole carcass of the buffaloes which (the Spaniards) kill, those birds eat what they leave, which otherwise, by rotting on the ground, would ... infect the air." [2]

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