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Reward Increased to $16,000 for Whooping Crane Killer's Arrest

whooping-crane-reward-flyer updateWESTERN KENTUCKY (3/25/14) — Wildlife officials are still seeking information in the death of two whooping cranes near Hopkins, Muhlenberg and McLean County lines, that occurred last November.

“We received noticed from someone about an injured bird back in November,” said Marcus Bowling of Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources. “When we went out there, we found the bird in really bad condition.”

The crane was rescued on the Hopkins County line, but had to be euthanized due to the extent of its wounds. The other crane was located on the Muhlenberg County line near Pond River, just north of Kentucky 70.

Investigators believe the cranes, recovered five miles apart, were both victims of the same incident.

“We haven’t received any hot leads just yet,” said Bowling. “This is no joke, the reward is set at $16,000. This is worse than killing a Bald Eagle.”

Bowling said there are currently only 500 whooping cranes left in the world and that the two that were mysterious killed were mates.

“These whooping cranes are monitored closely,” said Bowling. “From the time they hatch to their adulthood they are monitored and when there is no movement from them, we check on the situation.”

Whooping cranes are protected under two federal laws, which include the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Penalties could range up to $100,000 fine or one year in federal prison.

Bowling asks if anyone knows any information about this tragic incident to contact him at (270) 836-6661.

Read the previous SurfKY.com story on this case here.

Amber Averitt
SurfKY News Reporter

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