Acadia Parish, La.–The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are looking for leads and asking citizens of both Louisiana and Texas for help regarding an endangered whooping crane that was shot in Acadia Parish.
The crane was found with a wounded wing on Nov. 2, 2018 between Crowley and Rayne off of Monceaux Rd. Official say that the crane was taken to a vet where it had to be put down due to its injuries. The crane was then sent in for a necropsy where it was determined to have been shot in the wing.
Officials also say that it is possible that the person who shot the whooping crane may have been from out of state as hunters often travel from Texas to participate in game hunting.
“If somebody heard a friend or acquaintance talking about shooting the crane, we are asking them to come forward with that information,” a LDWF spokesperson said on Thursday. “Sportsmen and birders in both Texas and Louisiana have always worked very well together in these types of cases and we hope to see that continue,” the spokesperson also said.
Up to $7,500 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 total of $4,500 from private donations.
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 147 whooping cranes since 2011 to reintroduce the birds to the state. The population is currently estimated to be 76 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.