Media contact: Pamela Seelman, Marketing Director, International Crane Foundation, 608-320-0685.
Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation reported that four Whooping Cranes were recently shot in the state. The investigation is ongoing. The International Crane Foundation condemns this outrageous act. We are committed to partnering as needed with the Department of Wildlife Conservation and other authorities to find the perpetrators and working with the judicial system to encourage maximum sentencing to help discourage future shootings.
The four cranes were part of the last naturally occurring Aransas-Wood Buffalo population that winters in Texas and breeds in Canada. The Whooping Crane is one of the rarest birds in North America, with about 506 birds in this wild, highly-endangered flock.
Anyone with information regarding the deaths of these Whooping Cranes is asked to contact the Wildlife Department’s Operation Game Thief at 918-331-5555 or the USFWS’ Office of Law Enforcement in Fort Worth, Texas, at 817-334-5202. Callers with information may remain anonymous.
View the full release from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation here.
We can’t bring back these four cranes, but we can bring the perpetrators to justice. We can redouble our efforts to protect Whooping Cranes along their hazardous migration routes. We can expand our cooperative work with hunters and hunting groups to increase awareness of Whooping Crane presence. And we can continue to be the voice and act for Whooping Cranes on their wintering grounds in Texas and through reintroduction efforts in Wisconsin and Louisiana.
We can and we will. But not without your help – thank you!