Sentence Modified for Whooping Crane Crime in Louisiana

Whooping Cranes L3-15 and L5-15, center, with L2 and L6 from their 2015 cohort in Acadia Parish, Louisiana.

The sentence of a Rayne, Louisiana resident, for a Whooping Crane crime he committed four years ago, was modified on Oct. 27. Constantin shot two Whooping Cranes – L3-15 and L5-15 – in the Louisiana Non-migratory Population in May of 2016 with the help of a juvenile family member. Learn more about the crime and original sentencing.

At a supplemental hearing for Kaenon Constantin in the Western District of Louisiana in Lafayette, Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Hanna reduced Constantin’s restitution from $75,000 to $25,000.

The restitution will be paid to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, to be set aside for Whooping Crane conservation efforts at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. His unsupervised probation period was also reduced from five years to two years.

The rest of the sentence stands from the original sentencing hearing in July. The full sentence for Constantin is now a $10,000 fine, $25,000 in restitution, two years unsupervised probation and 360 hours of community service. Until his community service is completed, Constantin cannot hunt or fish. This change in restitution was the result of a deal reached between the opposing attorneys.

The International Crane Foundation is disappointed by the reduction in restitution, which does not reflect the financial contributions of many non-profit and government organizations that support the continued reintroduction of this species in Louisiana. However, this sentence remains one of the highest administered to someone who has shot a Whooping Crane, and we hope it will serve as a deterrent.

We commend Assistant US Attorney Danny Siefker, Jr. for his hard work and dedication to this case. We also thank Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna for his support of Whooping Crane protection. The International Crane Foundation and our partners in Whooping Crane conservation in Louisiana are working on new ways to reach community members in areas that have Whooping Cranes through a targeted outreach campaign. We look forward to doing more work in the state to protect Whooping Cranes from shootings.

The reintroduction of Whooping Cranes to Louisiana is a critical component to the recovery of the species. The International Crane Foundation and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, along with our other partners in Whooping Crane reintroduction, will continue to advocate for high sentences for the crime of shooting a Whooping Crane. We are also working on new and innovative ways to foster awareness and appreciation for the species in Louisiana and east Texas.