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. rick

    I am thankful that I do not feel the need to kill animals or would gain any pleasure from it.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea

      Thank you for speaking up. We need more people like you in the world.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I'm thankful that I do eat animals and that my prehistoric relatives ate them. The extra protein helped us evolve in the past and assists in the cerebral development of children to this day.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sandra LeVin

    I can't believe all the IDIOT postings on this article. The shooting of any living thing (especially endangered) is SAD and a pathetic statement of our mentality.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea

      Thank you for speaking up.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ccaze

      what about shooting cows? I like hamburgers. (a little platypus will go a long way too)

      January 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Radgast

    Maybe gun ownership requires a lie detector test, this should give a good indication if they should have one...

    January 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mikey B

    I am going out a limb and declaring that ALL hunters are imbeciles. It needed to be said and I just said it.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ccaze

      Your dad was a hunter. and what about Elmer Fudd? What about Elmer Fudd????

      Are you saying HE was an imbecile? ridonkulous.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Thanks Mikey, your imbecilic response is noted.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ELH

    Use to society of three Whooping Cranes–not a great deal, but they are beautiful birds to watch.
    Use to society of the noob or noobs who shot the birds-zero.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Colin in Florida

      Great posting. Thanks.

      January 13, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. xmxm

    Dick Cheney

    January 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dennis

    I'd like to thank the hunters that reported the crime.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. johnbt

    People who shoot and kill animals indiscriminately aren't hunters, they're poachers and lawbreakers. Hunters don't like them either and we'll turn them in too.

    The same goes for those idiots shooting holes in road signs and each other. They aren't hunters. They might dress like they are and say they are, but they aren't.

    Lumping all of us in together is sad and shows a lack of awareness. Or maybe just out-and-out dishonesty.

    John

    January 12, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lawrence E

    You can't really expect your average redneck to know the difference between a whooping crane and a space chicken.
    They get off on killing. And going home and scratching your ass all day gets to be a bore.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. STEVE PHX AZ

    Hey look at facts...Better spending that money to find who killed the birds, because it's likely they are also abusing anyone they know. those complaining about the reward don'y know what law enforcement sees every day...if you abuse animals, you are also committing felonies against humans, and finding these flawed souls will save money and lives in the long run. Anyone who would shoot such a non threatening bird, so unique has no compassion for any type of life

    January 12, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cpc65

    Look for the guy with Elmer Fudd on the mudflaps of his pickup truck. Or did I just describe half the guys in Georgia?

    January 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dave

    The crane will still make a comeback! Ya know, each year there is some bonehead who shoots dead the American Bald eagle. I've found them myself, shot dead.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Luigi Salami

    In-bred relatives of those Wasalia hillbillies. You know, those gun-nuts who want to move into the white house?

    January 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Me

    This is truly disgusting. It's a shame we can't shoot back on any moron who kills endangered animals. It makes me sick every time I read about poachers and other idiots.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ZXQ

    Whooping Cranes are like angles that in their own way make our world the wonderful places that it is.

    How often is South GA blessed with something so rare and majestic ?

    On a planet with 7 billion people, (7,000,000,000) there are about 570 of these birds left alive. (from the article above)

    Each one is a jewel, a gem upon the Earth. The few, the proud.....

    God Bless them in their journey through their lives.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
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