(MUSCATATUCK) - Indiana Conservation Officers were notified of a whooping crane that had been shot in southeastern Jackson County, near Crothersville.
The whooping crane is a federally endangered species, and only approximately 500 exist nation-wide.
Indiana Conservation Officer Phil Nale was notified of the shooting by Dan Kaiser, a tracker and photographer with the International Whooping Crane Foundation.
Kaiser located the crane, "Bird 605," in the area of the Muscatatuck River basin. Using X-Rays, Officer Nale later verified that it had suffered a fatal shotgun wound.
Whooping Cranes are North America's largest birds, standing over 5 feet tall. Every whooping crane is banded and/or fitted with a radio transmitter. Their numbers are threatened due to habitat loss, pollution, and occasionally, illegal hunting.
A monetary reward is being offered for any information leading to prosecution of the responsible parties. If anyone has further information regarding this case, please call Indiana Conservation Officers' South Region Headquarters at 812-837-9536.
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