Whooping cranes have come back from near-extinction, but there still are fewer than 600 in the world. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 11:38 AM
Any update on the two whooping cranes killed near Roanoke? Is the $15,000 reward still on? Also, what became of the two people who killed two whooping cranes south of Jennings?
Adam Einck, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, announced on Monday that the reward for information on who shot the birds has risen to $20,000.
The whooping cranes — one dead, a female, and the other, a male, wounded — were found near the corner of Compton and Radio Tower roads, north of Roanoke, on Feb. 7. Doctors’ efforts to save the wounded bird failed, and it was later euthanized.
The state has released 50 juvenile whooping cranes in White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area near Gueydan since 2011.
Before the recent shootings, officials said, 33 of them remained alive in the central and southwestern parts of 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,” reads the news release Einck issued Monday.
The reward, initially $1,000, rose to $15,000 in the days after the birds were found, thanks to contributions from several groups in Louisiana and nationwide, along with individual donors.
Residents can report information on the shootings to wildlife officials at 800-442-2511 or via 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,” reads Monday’s news release.
“CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.”
Einck said Tuesday that officials are still in search of leads in February’s shooting.
As for the reader’s last question, Einck noted that the two arrested in that shooting, which happened in 2011, were juveniles and that, consequently, he couldn’t say what punishment they faced.
According to the LDWF’s website, about 400 whooping cranes survive in the wild and 150 live in captivity. Other facts on whooping cranes, according to the website:
Whooping crane males can reach a height of 5 feet, making them the tallest birds in North America.
Whooping cranes have up to a 7-foot wingspan.
They can live nearly 25 years in the wild.
Whooping cranes mate for life, but will seek to re-pair when their mates die.
The birds are white with black feathers on their wing tips; their dark, olive-gray bills lighten in color during breeding season.
Whooping cranes are omnivorous; they eat frogs, fish, rodents, small birds and berries in the summer and blue crabs and clams in the winter.
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