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. TheDude

    someone has some bad karma coming their way

    January 13, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. JoeyE

    If you find a shooter whot killed a whooping crane.. please give that hunter a death penalty fair is fair!

    January 13, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. bralenX

    This is why I pray for humanities extinction every night.

    January 13, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rick

    Taste like Chicken!!!

    January 13, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. Clarance Bodiger

    Who cares we will all be dead in 100 years, there is no reason to save the planet! Kill animals, litter, and burn fossil fuel. The children may be the future but I'm right now.

    January 13, 2011 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. kenny zufelt

    Gee first Bob crane now hooping crane sucks to be a crane i bet.

    January 13, 2011 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Wise sasquatch

    As hunter and outdoors man I wouldn't call the people that killed these cranes hunters there is only 2 resons to kill any thing for food or portion

    January 13, 2011 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. Wise sasquatch

    I mean Portection

    January 13, 2011 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kimberly

    Why Hurt those poor animals hasn't there been enough deaths of little birds and fish and sea life already?

    January 13, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. LaJoe

    For those of you criticizing all the hunters, remember that is was hunters that found and reported these birds. Most hunters are decent, resposible people. Don't punish all for the sins of a few.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Moonatic

    @ Blair: "work on birth control education for the poor and uneducated rather than just paying to feed them and keep them mindlessly fed and breeding"

    Wow. Really? Wow! I can't begin to express how offensive and wrong your words are. I just hope the other readers picked up on it.

    My heart literally skipped a beat out of fear and disbelief when I read those words you wrote.

    Please reread your comment and ask yourself how prejudiced it sounds. So only the population of poor and uneducated people should be decreased using birth control? And poor people just sit around eating and "breeding" "mindlessly"? They're not starving or looking for work or trying to provide for their families like anyone else I suppose?

    If you're not poor and you're educated you should have as many children as you want and not have it be considered as adding to the unhealthy population growth on the planet?

    People who believe this way are dangerous. Human lives aren't worth different amounts based on poverty, education, or anything. Every human life is equal to every other one.

    Your comment scares me. I hope that as population growth becomes more and more of a problem, people who believe as you do won't be the ones in charge of finding solutions.

    And I hope you never find yourself poor and starving with children to feed when the population control people come into power and decide you're a drain on the economy. I also hope you do some soul searching and find some humanity.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike McColl

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for prosecuting whoever did this. I seriously doubt CNN will print this because it's a different perspective. I also seriously doubt most of the people who are commenting on this have ever even been to Albany,GA. I have. Did you know Nancy Lopez and Ray Charles are from there. There's a beautiful dedication of Charles right on the river. Don't be so quick to judge the people down there if you've never even been there. Who really is the ignorant?

    January 13, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kathy

    So true....The most dangerous animal on earth is MAN! Why? Because they are on an EGO trip. The world revolves around MAN and every woman, child, and animal suffer because of it.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. Your crazy

    You people sit in your subdivisions and cry because a hunter shoots an animal. You dont realize that your subdivision sits on use to be the animals home. Then you get mad because they poop in your yard and go through garbage. And animals are not like humans they dont have a couple kids and stop they breed their whole live and if it werent for us hunters there would be more than a couple animals pooping in your yard. I do not appreciate what you are saying about hunters. you cant judge a group of people from something a couple of people do. I have hunted my whole live and never raised my hand to hit anyone.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. dan kothe

    The Greenbay Packers beat the Eagles!Next the Atlanta Falcons are going Down .Not agood year to be a Bird:/

    January 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
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