4th endangered bird found shot to death
Whooping cranes follow an ultralight aircraft as they learn to migrate in 2001.
February 10th, 2011
07:33 AM ET

4th endangered bird found shot to death

Another endangered whooping crane has been found shot to death, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports.

The agency is offering a $6,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the death of a crane at Weiss Lake, Alabama, in late January.

The male whooping crane, designated 12-04, was equipped with a transmitter and leg bands to help track its movements. Raised in Wisconsin at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, whooping crane 12-04 learned how to migrate behind ultralight aircraft flown by Operation Migration.

"We are extremely disappointed by the killing of this whooping crane," Jim Gale, special agent in charge of law enforcement in the service's Southeast Region, said in a press release. "We recently lost three whooping cranes to gunfire in south Georgia, now this one in Alabama. This senseless killing has just got to stop."

Officials are offering $20,800 in rewards for information on the crane deaths in Georgia, which occurred in late December.

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 in the wild. There are about 100 cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population.

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

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Filed under: Alabama • Animals • Crime • Environment • Georgia • Wisconsin
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Zebula

    That's the South for you.

    February 11, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Show-me State

    While I do not commend whoever shot this endangered bird, I feel the comments on here about hunting are a little off base. Hunting can be considered a sport even if the deer or whatever animal isn't toting a shotgun. Hunting takes skill to do, it's not always druken hicks waving around a rifle. I personally do not hunt but, it is not because i see wrong in it, it is because I am horrible at it. A true hunter and sportsman can make a clean kill that is not torture, and they don't see it as killing something. Talk to a true hunter and you will see that they have respect for the animal's life they took.

    February 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. intltruth

    the thing that really bothers me about this is that the person probably knew that these birds are endangered and shot them anyway.

    February 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. careworn

    "Shot to death"? How many shots were fired to kill the bird? Why not just say "Shot dead"?

    February 13, 2011 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Observer

    I am sure 90% of the commentators on this story eat meat they buy from the grocery store. Have you ever seen where those animals are raised? Further, have you seen how they are slaughtered? I will take a naturally born, raised and feed deer, turkey or hog over that hormone infested, tortured, mistreated animal any day. It is sad that these birds were killed, especially being on the endangered list; but I wonder if anyone thought to ask if it was accidental? P.S. It is very ignorant to generalize such negative comments about the South.

    February 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ignorance is global...

    While not endangered, the trees poisoned at Auburn are estimated to be 130+ years old. Check out the link to catch the backstory and take the time to educate those around you about the senseless acts and try to come together as a community to hold each other accountable.

    link: sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=6129272

    IMO – I would not relate the killing of a whooping crane to abortion or the hunting of wild animals for food. If you are an educated hunter, you understand the need for balance in an ecosystem and the importance of biodiversity. The abortion topic is for another story and discussion board.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. upurs

    The perps must have took a break from playing the banjo and bangin their cousins, and went "huntin"

    February 18, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. stacell

    Is there a hunter out there that can justify this? I'd really like to hear this reasoning...right the subject hasn't a damn thing to do w/abortion. The crane is WAY more endangered that a human embryo.

    February 18, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Atlantan

    After this and poisoning of the Toomers Corner's oaks, it's clear that most of the inbreeds in this country ended up in Alabama...

    February 20, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bob The Alien

    It's clearly a plot by Al Qaeda (SP?) to wipe out all remaining traces of Whooping Cranes...so sad...

    February 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dijaeok

    If I were wealthy, I'd increase the reward significantly. This story breaks my heart.

    February 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    Simple guns in the hands of a redneck!

    March 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shinden58

    If they catch the person who poached the bird, I think they should poach the poacher. Shooting a defenseless bird for fun or sport is barbaric.

    March 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Patiat

    Don't nobody ruhmembuhr that god gave man diminyin ovur th' Urth an' th' beasts?

    March 7, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
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