Texas – Texas Parks and Wildlife officials have confirmed that two Endangered Whooping Cranes were shot in Harden County, Texas on Sunday, January 10. One individual has been identified as the suspect. The International Crane Foundation commends the quick action of authorities, while also expressing anger and outrage at the news of another shooting.
“This is devastating and unacceptable. Of just 600 Whooping Cranes in the world, two are gone in an instant because of what appears to be a cowardly act of violence. Whooping Cranes face enough challenges to survival without senseless vandalism,” said Dr. Elizabeth Smith, Texas Program Director...
In the 1940s, there were fewer than 20 Whooping Cranes left in the wild. The two cranes shot in Texas were members of the Louisiana flock which numbers just about 30.
The International Crane Foundation plays a leading role in the conservation of Whooping Cranes, from captive breeding and release programs, habitat protection, citizen education and engagement, and threat reduction along their flyways. Learn more about the International Crane Foundation and our work to protect Endangered Whooping Cranes at www.savingcranes.org.
The case in question dates back to July 21, 2013, when researchers with the International Crane Foundation based in Baraboo, Wisconsin found the radio-tagged whooping crane dead in a Waupaca County wheat field. Our forensics specialists conducted a necropsy at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory and confirmed that the crane had been shot and killed with a .22-caliber bullet.
Matthew Kent Larsen, 28, of New London, Wisconsin pleaded guilty and was sentenced in United States Magistrate Court in Green Bay, Wisconsin for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by killing a protected whooping crane in Waupaca County, Wisconsin.