Reward Offered for Information on Whooping Crane Shot in Green County Indiana

Media Contact: Sara Gavney Moore, 608-356-9462 ext. 155

Update: As of January 24, the reward has grown to $15,000 with an additional $3,500 donation by Operation Migration and $5,000 donated by the Center for Biological Diversity.

Indiana Conservation Officers have partnered with Indiana Turn in a Poacher, Friends of Goose Pond, and the International Crane Foundation to offer a reward of $6,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for killing a Whooping Crane in Greene County, Indiana in early January.

Whooping Crane, no. 4-11, on her wintering area at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area.
Whooping Crane 4-11 on her wintering area at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in southwestern Indiana.

On January 3, 2017 an International Crane Foundation volunteer found the crane near Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area. The carcass has been sent to the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon for further testing (click here to learn more about the Whooping Crane and this crime).

In an effort to apprehend those responsible for the killing of the Whooping Crane, several conservation organizations have come together to offer a reward.

“Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area is a winter home for up to 25% of the entire eastern Whooping Crane population,” said Dane Strahle, Friends of Goose Pond President.  We strongly support the efforts to find the person(s) responsible for this killing.”

Friends of Goose Pond’s board members are offering a $2,500 reward. This reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

The International Crane Foundation is supporting this effort and has committed to offer a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

“The population of Whooping Cranes has recovered from a few dozen in the 1940s to about 450 in the wild today,” said Tim Grunewald, International Crane Foundation North America Program Director. “The protection of the Whooping Crane population is a very high priority for our organization, and we hope to see justice served in this case.”

Indiana Turn in a Poacher is adding an additional $500.

An additional $2,500 is being offered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for information leading to conviction.

“Poaching is referred to as theft of our precious natural resources,” said Joe Cales, Turn in a Poacher President. “As citizens of Indiana, we do not tolerate the unlawful taking of our fish, wildlife or natural resources, and we stand firmly against those who do.”

The Whooping Crane killed in Greene County was part of an effort by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership to establish an eastern continental flock on a migratory path between Wisconsin and Florida. This migration path crosses through Indiana, with Whooping Crane’s often stopping at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area.

Indiana Conservation Officers are collaborating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate this crime.

“Conservation Law Enforcement is our mission”, said Danny L. East, Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Director.  “With the assistance of our conservation partners and our citizens, we remain confident that we will bring closure to this case.”

(Total reward offered is $6,500)