INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana and federal wildlife officials are looking for someone who shot a federally endangered whooping crane in southern Indiana's Jackson County.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is encouraging anyone with information about the 2011 shooting to call its Turn in a Poacher program. Whooping cranes are protected by the Endangered Species Act and other federal and state laws. Officials have offered rewards totaling $7,500.
A carcass of the rare bird was found Dec. 30, 2011 near the Muscatatuck River basin about 40 miles north of Louisville, Ky. Investigators say X-rays show the bird suffered a fatal shotgun wound. The bird was part of an effort to establish a flock on a migratory path between Wisconsin and Florida.
Whooping cranes are North America's largest birds, standing over 5 feet tall.