Justice for Whooping Cranes

Two Whooping Cranes in flight

Four Oklahoman men were sentenced last week by the United States Attorney’s Office in Oklahoma for the shocking killing of four Whooping Cranes in Nov. 2021. Their sentencing includes restitution totaling $68,000 to the International Crane Foundation, forfeiture of firearms, and nationwide loss of hunting privileges for five years.

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 less than 550 birds in this wild, highly endangered flock. They were shot in southwestern Oklahoma during fall migration.

“Each of us bears responsibility to protect endangered wildlife so that the species is preserved for future generations. My office stands with and commends the work done by our federal and state law enforcement partners, and we hope this case serves as a warning for those who would harm endangered species.” ~ U.S. Attorney Robert Troester

We thank the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and the United States Attorney’s Office for thoroughly investigating this case and bringing the perpetrators to justice. Read the United States Attorney’s Office press release on the sentencing.