January 12, 2011
Reward Offered in Whooping Crane Killing in South Georgia
The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally killing three whooping cranes in Calhoun County, Ga. The HSUS offer is part of a total $12,500 offered for information that leads to a successful prosecution of the perpetrator(s).
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on Dec. 30, hunters discovered three dead whooping cranes just west of Albany, Ga. According to a landowner in the area where the cranes were found, the birds had been in the area for several weeks before their death. The birds were sent to the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Ore. for necropsies and preliminary testing indicates that the birds had injuries consistent with gunshot wounds.
“This serious crime is an affront to the recovery of the species and we implore anyone with information to come forward,” said Jessica DuBois, Georgia senior state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States commends the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for their investigation.”
Whooping cranes are protected by state and federal law, including the Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
- Wildlife officials estimate that for every wild animal killed legally — tens of millions of animals per year — another is killed illegally.
- Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poached animals are discovered by law enforcement.
- Poachers injure or kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways. Wildlife officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
- The HSUS and HSWLT work with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $2,500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Terry Hasting at 404-763-7959 and/or the Georgia Department of Natural Resources 24 hour TIP Hotline at 1-800-241-4113.
The HSUS and HSWLT work to curb poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.
Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.
Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states, including 240 acres in Georgia, and eight foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.