The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today that the reward has been increased to $20,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting the two whooping cranes found in Jefferson Davis Parish on Feb. 7.
Anyone with information on this incident can contact LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program.
To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge. CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.
Organizations contributing to the reward fund include the Humane Society of the U.S., Dr. Ben Burton, the Louisiana Operation Game Thief Program, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, Sara Simmonds, the Animal Welfare Institute, Operation Migration, Lake Charles Area Sportsmen, the International Crane Foundation, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Audubon Nature Institute, Zoo New England, King White, Lowry Park Zoo, Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, San Antonio Zoo, Joe Brooks and anonymous donors.
The whooping cranes were found near the corner of Compton Road and Radio Tower Road just north of Roanoke, about five miles north of Interstate 10. One bird was already dead when found and the second crane was transported to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge, operated on and subsequently had to be euthanized when it failed to respond to recovery efforts.
LDWF has been working to restore a wild whooping crane population in Louisiana. Fifty juvenile cranes, brought to Louisiana in four separate cohort groups, have been released at LDWF’s White Lake property near Gueydan since 2011. Prior to this incident, 33 of those birds were alive and well on the landscape in central and southwest Louisiana. Some have been lost to predators, some to naturally occurring health problems, and five in total have been confirmed as killed or wounded by firearms.