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Information sought in 2018 whooping crane shooting, reward offered

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Posted at 4:11 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 17:11:21-05

ACADIA PARISH — Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are still looking for leads and a reward has been offered for information regarding an endangered whooping crane that was shot in Acadia Parish.

According to LDWF, the crane was found with a broken wing on November 2, 2018 between Crowley and Rayne off of Monceaux Road. The crane was taken to a vet where it had to be euthanized due to its injuries. The crane was then sent in for a necropsy where it was determined to have been shot in the wing.

Up to $6,000 is being offered by various groups for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal shooting of this whooping crane. LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and Whooping Crane Conservation Association are each offering a reward of up to $1,000. LDWF also received a $1,000 donation for the reward from a private donor and a $2,000 donation for the reward from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Anyone with information regarding the illegal shooting should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program. To use the tip411 program, residents can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” app. The hotline and the tip411 are monitored 24 hours a day. Upon request, informants can remain anonymous.

LDWF with support from partners has released 158 whooping cranes since 2011 to reintroduce the birds to the state. The population is currently estimated to be 78 whooping cranes. This reintroduced population marked the first presence of whooping cranes in the wild in Louisiana since 1950. The crane in this case was released in December of 2016.

Whooping cranes are the most endangered of the world’s crane species. The Louisiana flock is designated as a non-essential, experimental population but is protected under state law, the Endangered Species Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.