UPDATED: The Whooping Crane Conservation Association will pay a reward not to exceed $10,000 to anyone who provides information which leads to the conviction of any individuals responsible for the killing of a whooping crane which took place on the afternoon of Friday, April 20, 2012 along 354th Avenue, approximately 17 miles southwest of Miller, S.D. The purpose of the reward is to encourage the public to share information they might have about criminal activities involving whooping cranes. Federal, State, Provincial, and other public law enforcement personnel, and criminal accomplices who turn “states” evidence to avoid prosecution, shall not be eligible for this reward. If more than one informant is key to solving a specific case, the reward will be equally divided between the informants.
Law enforcement officers from the Service and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks are investigating the shooting. The migrating adult whooping crane was traveling with two additional whooping cranes before being shot with a high-power rifle as it was standing in a corn field.
Anyone with information should call either the 24-hour Turn in a Poacher Hotline at 1-888-OVERBAG (683-7224) or the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at 605-224-9045 to report any information which will aid officers in the apprehension of the shooter. Callers can remain anonymous.
Eleven whooping cranes from the Eastern Migratory Population and the non-migratory Louisiana population have been shot in the last two years. The Alabama case of January, a year ago, is still active. The Louisiana shootings have been solved by State Law Enforcement personnel and a reward will not be involved. One case is still active in Indiana where the State has offered $2,500, the Fish and Wildlife Service $2,500 and the Humane Society $2,500 in reward.
Donations are being requested for the Whooping Crane Conservation Association’s Reward Account. Donations should be mailed to Whooping Crane Conservation Association, 2139 Kennedy Avenue, Loveland, CO, USA 80538. Donations are tax-deductible. Or, donations can be made on the Association’s web page www.whoopingcrane.com Then click on “Membership” and make a donation.