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. lance

    Mmmmm.. fried crane and biscuits anyone? Paula Dean would have whipped them up into a fine meal!

    January 13, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    @Guestwight: No. It means you're getting farther from home, ET.

    January 13, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    I really love it when bloggers carry on conversations by themselves and attack themselves with name calling. So thrilling.

    January 13, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar

    Oh well, going to sleep now. I guess Lance will continue his on conversation tomorrow. I can hardly wait to see what Lance is going to tell Lance.

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

    "It's coming right for us!" . On a more serious note, its a terrible thing that these birds were shot, but despite the fact I've been a vegetarian for 20 years, I still think hunting has its place, since we've killed off all the natural predators of certain species.

    January 13, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  6. Patiat

    Now, whoever dun killed them burdz wuz in th' right onaccounta God gave man diminyun ovur th' urth an' th' critturz, so ain't no judgin' a man who goes killin' stuff.

    January 13, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. kcc

    I'm sorry that some of you feel hunting is wrong. There is a differnce in real hunting and sport hunting. I spend large sums of money to keep good habitat on my property for all animals. Only a few animals are taken each year and every piece of meat is utilized. If not by my on family, than by elderly familys or less fortunate familys that have a hard time making ends me. Please don't catagorize us all together. I would be the first to turn in the idiots for shooting the cranes without a thought of a reward, because they are poachers, not hunters. There is a big difference.

    January 13, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. TomC

    I agree with #1, blast it all! No, seriously, prosecute the persecuters and persecute the prosecuters! Also find out who killed the Cranes (Bob from Hogan's Heroes as well).

    January 13, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. Brenda

    Thank you for clarifying this point! I, of course, am not a hunter, but all three of my brothers are (or were). My brother has a deer lease which he has maintained for over 20 years. He goes down each year and does a survey of the number of deer. He is very careful to only take one deer per year for himself, and he uses the meat for his special recipes. I believe that is in line with what sport hunting should be. The idea of hunting just to obtain a tropy is a truly obnoxious idea for me!

    January 13, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. kcc

    @Brenda. We do the same thing on our property. We take out what needs to be taken and use all of the meat. I even tan the hides to use as seats in rockers. Very little of anything is wasted. I have never even had a deer head mounted as I am not trying to kill the biggest, but the inferior as that the larger healthier deer will keep good genetics in our heard. I also hunt wild hogs stupid people released as they destroy the native habitat for our native game. They can destroy land pass repair. Poachers or trophy hunters actually do more damage than true hunters. I have hunted all my life. I have two daughters that and a granddaughter that will start next hear. Keeping my children in the woods hunting and fishing has kept them off the streets and out of trouble.

    January 13, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. MiaStarr

    I find it unfortunate that these birds were killed.
    such a senseless act.
    It is quite amusing to read the nonsense that some people post. I certainly respect responsible hunters, as life would have it there is good and bad in everything. There are also people that give serious, responsible hunters a bad name by doing such terrible acts. I do not agree that all hunters should be labeled in a negative way. Too many people judge, and jump to the wrong conclusions way too quickly.
    (Another reason why, there are many on going issues in the US)
    Then again how many people can read AND comprehend?

    January 13, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bill Brasky

    I want to find the people who did this and punch them in the balls.

    January 13, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. Three Dog Mama

    Can we shoot them when we find the jerks that did this unspeakable act? I live in TX and we get Whooping Cranes on our coast in the winter.

    January 13, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ed Bailey

    Kma cnn

    January 13, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. Gorein2004

    Damn it! Sarah Palin strikes again!

    January 13, 2011 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
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