In an effort to apprehend those responsible for the killing of a Whooping Crane, several conservation organizations have come together to offer a sizable reward.

Indiana Conservation Officers have partnered with Indiana Turn in a Poacher, Friends of Goose Pond, the International Crane Foundation, Operation Migration the Center for Biological Diversity and Sassafras Audubon to offer a substantial reward of $16000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for killing female Whooping Crane number 4-11 in Greene County, Indiana in early January.

On January 3, 2017 an International Crane Foundation volunteer found the crane near Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area. Her remains have been sent to the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon for further testing.

This almost 6 year old female Whooping crane 4-11 initially learned a migration route by following the ultralight aircraft of Operation Migration.

“Reintroducing an endangered species takes money, hard work, luck and expertise. I was privileged to fly alongside #4-11 and to help teach her to migrate. She survived on her own and made five trips south in the fall and back north in the spring. She found a mate and even produced a chick. Then to have someone waste all that time, effort and such a beautiful bird for nothing more that the pleasure of the kill is a selfish, wasteful tragedy”, said Operation Migration CEO, Joe Duff.

Female Whooping crane number 4-11. Photographed in early 2016 by Bob Herndon.

This breeding female Whooping Crane killed in Greene County was part of an effort by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership to establish an eastern migratory flock which travels between Wisconsin and the southeast U.S. This migration path crosses through Indiana, with a number of Whooping Cranes often stopping at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area.

Indiana Conservation Officers are collaborating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate this crime.

If you have information about this case please contact the Indiana Conservation Officer Dispatch at 812-837-9536.

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  1. Doyle February 17, 2017 10:14 am

    Yes time and money was spent but nothing can compare to the lost to all. When alive we could see and love her many times, but dead now what should we watch.

  2. Barb February 17, 2017 8:33 am

    With this kind of reward, it’s hard to believe some one doesn’t know something about the murder of this lovely bird. I just hope a friend thinks by withholding information he is protecting a friend. A crime has been committed.

  3. Norma Brown February 17, 2017 7:58 am

    “almost 16 year old female Whooping crane 4-11” Shouldn’t that have been 6 year old?

    • Heather Ray February 17, 2017 9:18 am


  4. Mary Kelly February 17, 2017 6:44 am

    This is so much time, money etc. to have this happen. RIP 4-11..