Conservation Officers Investigate Shooting of Endangered Whooping Crane Near Crothersville

Indiana Conservation Officers were notified on Friday, Dec. 30, of a whooping crane that had been shot in southeastern Jackson County near Crothersville. The whooping crane is a federally endangered species and only approximately 500 exist nation-wide.
Indiana Conservation Officer Phil Nale said he was notified of the shooting by Dan Kaiser, a tracker and photographer with the International Whooping Crane Foundation. Kaiser located the crane, “Bird 605,” in the area of the Muscatatuck River bottoms. Using X-Rays, Officer Nale later verified that it had suffered a fatal shotgun wound.
Whooping Cranes are North America’s largest birds, standing over 5 feet tall, are snow white with dark wingtips and dark area around their beaks. The birds summer in Minnesota and winter in Texas. Every whooping crane is banded and/or fitted with a radio transmitter. Their numbers are threatened due to habitat loss, pollution, and occasionally, illegal hunting.
A monetary reward is being offered for any information leading to prosecution of the responsible parties. If anyone has further information regarding this case, call Indiana Conservation Officers’ South Region Headquarters at 812-837-9536.