Endangered whooping cranes shot dead
Only about 400 whooping cranes exist in the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says.
January 12th, 2011
03:17 PM ET

Endangered whooping cranes shot dead

Three endangered whooping cranes were shot to death in southern Georgia, wildlife officials say.

The three dead birds were found and reported by hunters near Albany, Georgia, on December 30, according to a release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The cranes, which were banded and fitted with radio transmitters, were part of a group of five that were migrating to Florida together, the service said. They had last been tracked 20 days earlier in Hamilton County, Tennessee.

The cranes are part of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership effort to reintroduce whooping cranes into the eastern United States. There are about 570 whooping cranes left in the world, 400 of which are in the wild, according to the wildlife service. About 100 cranes are in the eastern migratory population.

The cranes that were killed were not among those famously led south by ultralight aircraft, but instead were part of the Direct Autumn Release program, in which cranes are encouraged to follow other migrating birds, such as sandhill cranes.

In addition to the Endangered Species Act, whooping cranes are protected by state laws and the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The wildlife service and Georgia Department of Natural Resources are investigating. Several organizations have contributed toward a $12,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

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soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. kj

    this aint good not one bit but i am young and i enjoy hunting. i do agree with the fact that this man or woman should pay and i know that when u hunt u double check b4 u shoot. my dad my brother and i dont shoot hen mallards and try not to kill female ducks because then eventually they will be endangered and hunting will become illegall so this person should fess up and take responsibility and volenteer to educate others why it is so important to listen to the law and leave the protected things alone . . . . . . . amen

    January 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ginny

    I am a female who lives in a trailer in the south and married a redneck. My redneck would drive and stop and move the trutle away from the road so it won't be hit by other cars. Why do u think people like trailer trash would shoot those cranes? I don't even have a rifle. So I guess rich people enjoy shooting up animals so they can brag about something.

    January 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. aelt

    Why can't people just comment on the facts of the article and not turn these comments into a name-calling fest ?

    The birds were endangered and should not have been shot. The people who did it broke the law and should face some consequences. But remember they are people - I think saying they should be 'shot', 'gutted', 'killed', etc. is going a little far.

    Just keep things in perspective and try to be civil.

    OK – thanks for listening.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
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