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.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. AMERICA 1st

    if the shooter is found, blast it

    January 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      Smurfeater, you hit the nail on the head.
      And Truebob, having compassion for the helpless (i.e. the whooping cranes here) is a characteristic you should familiarize yourself with. Humans can and do help each other, but animals are helpless and since it was some human that freaking shot these birds, why shouldn't we try to right that wrong? Your ignorant comment is simply perpetuating the perceived dominance humankind thinks it has over the world. Newsflash, people, animals do not belong to us and are not there for us to do with what we will! Christ. Take some of that compassion for the battered women and whatever and direct it toward a TRULY helpless population.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |

      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 |
    • image42

      If the Many-Worlds interpretation is correct, then there should be a version of earth dominated by another species where some of the last few surviving humans have just been killed for fun.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • eldono

      Should we expect anything different from South Georgia?

      January 12, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Office Fan

      @truebob...please tell me why these nearly extinct animals are undeserving of our protection and do not deserve a reward for information on who murdered them? It doesn't say taxpayer dollars are going towards this reward, it says several organizations. Most likely these are non-profit organizations like Audobon and World Wildlife Fund dedicated towards protecting wildlife. They have EVERY right to spend their funds on whatever cause they feel is fit, just because you feel other causes are more deserving does not mean they are in the wrong in any way by offering this reward. You know what, I think 50% of your yearly income would be better spent on building this battered women's shelter that you speak of so please, set an example and put your money where your mouth is.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • PepperGuy

      @truebob – And why, exactly, do the various members of your family deserve the $12,500?

      January 12, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Taste like Chicken!!

      January 13, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest4Me

      Leave it to Southern Rednecks, they will shoot and kill anything for the thrill of taking a life..........pretty sad.

      January 13, 2011 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Roger Martin

      I'm from the south and still live here.I also live in the Mountains of East Tn.As a born southerner, I come into contact with these type of people almost every day. I see the local young people that drive their pickup trucks flying the Confederate Flag cruise up and down the road in towns here every weekend. If you ask them about Tennessee history they have no clue that the state couldnt make up its mind which side it was on. That it was the last state to leave the Union and the first state to return to the union after the war.
      I meet way too many local hillbillies that know nothing and dont want to know anything except their stereotype southern heritage they never had in the 1st place.
      Since I'm from the south it bothers me that we have such a reputation as a backward area. But the truth is there is some fact there. This is 2011, there is no excuse for the backwards thinking I run into constantly among my own people.
      Too many truly have no grasp of the outside world and simply dont care.As long as they can get gas for their truck their happy . Its scary sometimes,,,,,,,,,,,

      February 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. AMERICA 1st

    find the shooterand drop it from an airplane

    January 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. drap

    Did the whooping crane bring the Travoltas their baby?

    January 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clark

      That would be funny if it were a "Stork"

      January 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • jondoe888

      Not a stork – it was the crane they used to haul the bus away in Swordfish.
      Nothing but the best for my little baby, said pilot JT!
      (actually, the baby would be delivered by scientology lawyers, dressed as angels.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marge

    The nasty individual must be placed on the extinct individuals' list. There are lots of nuts like him/her, and there are fewer and fewer whooping cranes left.

    January 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stinky Britches

      If only.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    What the ??? are you talking about wakeupcall??? What does this have to do with the topic?

    Why in the h*ll would anyone shoot these birds? What azzholes. Next, you'll read that the "hunter" mistook them for pheasant, or some such nonsense. Hope no-one mistakes him for a rabbit.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alaska Dawn

      actually, I hope some one does mistake him for a bunny or squirrel or snake or chicken. Something shot, skinned or plucked, gutted and then put in a pot.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bambam

    I wonder if its the same ppl that killed the 100000 fich and the 500000 black birds

    January 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stinky Britches

      What's a "fich?" At first I thought perhaps you meant "finch" since you also mention black birds, but then you somehow managed to get the plural of "bird" correct but not the plural of finch which is finches. So then I thought maybe you meant fish, but then we kill those all the time and they taste good. The I thought once again you meant finches, but then you somehow managed to get the plural of bird correct but not the plural of finch which is finches. So then I thought...

      January 12, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • exit119

      @Stinky Britches
      maybe you should "read between the lines" instead of being so pedantic

      January 12, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lisababy

    @Ruff Nutt thats twice today you've tickled my funnybone thanks i needed that hee hee!

    January 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • BrassTacks

      you must be pretty simple..

      January 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • frontgate

      A lot of children commenting.
      And they are just showing their ignorance and immaturity.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      There are a lot of trolls in here tonight. Dumb trolls, but trolls nevertheless. Return to the bridge from whence you came!

      January 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      @Crystal....Is there such a thing as an intelligent troll?

      January 13, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff Frank

    "Hope nobodys shooting cougars!" 🙂

    January 12, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hel

    I am concerned about wakeupcall.
    Why is he treathening americans like this on open blog???

    January 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD Jr

      Attention seeker. Can't spell the arabic right, and no sense of punctiation. Ergo, either illiterate disturbed person, or an individual who has issues. Probably the latter, needs recognition and didn't stop to read what the subject was really about. He/she would've made a much bigger splash if the article had been about Arizona or some political snafu.

      Final analysis, ignore. Someone that incapable of forming a coherent thought fights with haymakers, no sense of style.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • JD Jr

      Pardon, "punctuation."

      January 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Perfect

      @JD Jr

      "Final analysis, ignore. Someone that incapable of forming a coherent thought fights with haymakers, no sense of style."

      Oh I get it. You mean like Jared Lee Loughner. Got it.

      January 13, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. deerlakejens

    Certainly deflating to all the volunteers and professionals who have put tons of hours and efforts trying to help these birds make a comeback. Too bad there are so many ignorant folks out there with nothing constructive to do. Must have been really challenging for them.

    January 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kevin

    What is this a bird genocide? Not a good year to be a bird. Getting struck by lightning, shot by rednecks, poisonings, etc.

    January 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jake

    lol i like how people on here are calling for the death of somebody for shooting a bird. Please don't breed, people.

    January 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Well people who kill animals for fun generally hurt other humans too. There is a direct correlation between the number of hunting permits issued in a given area and the number of domestic abuse complaints. It should not come as a surprise that someone who has no empathy for innocent creature capable of suffering would also have no compunctions about beating their wife and kids. Every serial killer in US history has had animal abuse in their past. If you do some reading you will verify this fact.

      So the people calling for the poachers to be killed probably don't want cruel, callous individuals roaming about in our society. It's highly unlikely that the individuals responsible for killing these cranes are productive members of society. Let's hope that they don't breed.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • steveo2504

      Kudos Jake.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      @ Ed..... I think somebody just made up a fact. Can you quote a source?

      January 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • stickman

      Ed, I know you have very strong opinions about hunting, but intellectual dishonesty doesn't help your cause one bit. The only other place I've seen that "fact" quoted, it was clearly the product of shameless cherry-picking of data to support an agenda. I would take the time to delve into the statistics and see if there actually is a trend, but I have no reason to waist my time on your "cause". All of the hunters I've known personally are perfectly responsible individuals, and what you're doing right now is nothing short of defamation.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good Hunter

      Ed, I think we can all agree that, along with poachers, you shouldn't breed either. This way, we won't have game killed illegally, and we won't have any more people on these message boards making things up.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • exit119

      @Good Hunter
      please check YOUR facts before commenting

      January 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • stickman


      Yes, I'm aware that serial killer, with a few exceptions, have animal abuse in their past. As for the rest of Ed's post, it's complete rubbish, and that's the portion I was referring to.

      January 13, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. Indyman

    Tea Baggers again.

    January 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tewrobert

    Too bad there is some southerners that have the mentality that if it moves we must kill it..I hope they catch them..

    January 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • southernboy

      we shoot anything that moves including yankee's

      January 12, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ed

    Next time you read some nonsense about how sport hunters help "manage" populations of wildlife, remember this story. Sport hunters don't hunt for subsistence and they don't give a damn about wildlife. They kill for fun and leave the carcass to rot. 82% of non-hunting Americans have to put up with this unnecessary and reckless destruction of innocent life because State Fish and Game departments are staffed and managed by hunters themselves. State governments turn a blind eye because they make money from the sale of hunting permits. It's time for the silent majority to determine how wildlife should be "managed".

    January 12, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riff

      Your statements seem rather uninformed or just plain dumb. Do you even hunt? No. Where I live if you didn't thin out the deer population, they would starve to death on a massive scale. Not to mention the millions of dollars in crop damage and loss of income to the farmers. The punks that shot these beautiful birds are idiots and will be punished, but don't talk about something you know squat about. We eat the game around here,son and the only carcasses lying around are what are hit by autos.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good Hunter

      Ed, you couldn't be more wrong. I, and every other hunter I know, eat everything we hunt and kill legally. What would you rather support, getting your sustenance from a wild and free animal, or getting it from a genetically engineered pig who is kept in a cage? Think outside the box next time you eat your bacon, pig.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Regis990

      Ed, your not too far from the truth...although I wouldn't go so far as to say ALL hunters. Living in Oklahoma all my life, I can tell you from experience, I've worked with "hunters" who do shoot anything and everything that moves...as well as those that are responsible hunters. One of the"hunters" I worked with a few years back was finally arrested and sent away because he shot two bald eagles in one year, finally getting caught because he kept the feathers and talons in his pick up, which were subsequently discovered during a DUI stop. Just like every aspect of life, there are those who play by the rules, and then there are the idiots...like my former co-worker and the man/men who killed these cranes...that are the redneck "kill anything that moves" types. It's just plain sad.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea

      Ed. I agree with you 100%. And those of you that say you hunt for "food" I think you would find it cheaper to buy at the grocery store. Where I live hunting is popular and you better have your horses and other livestock locked up in the barn during hunting season because they will get shot.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • cynicalme

      ed seems to be stepping on a lot of people's hunting camos. how about everybody lighten up a bit. he did make the distinction between "sport" hunters that just shoot for the fun of it and leave carcasses behind, and those who hunt as a means of sustenance. granted, he does seem to have an issue with hunting in general. but, calling ed a pig just makes you look a bit rabid there, sport. there's nobility in agreeing to disagree... ignorant people killed these lovely and endangered animals for a lark. no pun intended. we, unfortunately, are eat up with ignorant people on planet earth. they will be the death of our own species.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Ed and Andrea , you both are either terribly delusional or just completely ignorant. Andrea, eating wild game places significantly less stress on the environment than eating cultivated/domesticated animals. And Ed, to judge the value that people place on the life of what they hunt shows a remarkable degree of arrogance.... the people that I hunt with cherish the outdoors and the game that feeds our families. And before you go off about me being another ignorant redneck, I have a PhD in Environmental Science and would love to discuss this topic at length if you so desire. Now about those people killing the Whooping Cranes... no excuses and no respect for those pieces of excrement.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ttown76

      We have a name for those sport hunters. They're called poachers.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim armstrong

      82% of nonhunters? so according to you 18% put put up with it? I guess somewhere your self imposed stats make sense, proabably on some other subject. Hunters don't shoot and leave carcasses around, thats wildlife killers that do that. I harvest a natural resource and use it. nice try though. Now its your turn to actually suggest a wildlife management plan. The "somebody should do something" doesn't work out very good. How many dollars do you contribute to wildlife conservation? Everytime I buy a hunting or fishing permit or hunting/fishing equiptment, part of the purchase price (not sales taxes) is donated by the manufacturer to various wildlife conservation organizations. Please put your money where your mouth is and relocate your brains away from your rectal area, it would help a bunch.

      January 13, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
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