Officials up reward for information on dead Whooping Crane

Photo provided by Indiana Conservation Officers
Photo provided by Indiana Conservation Officers

GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Officials have upped the reward in the search for the person that killed a Whooping Crane in Greene County.

The reward is now $6,500 for anyone that would have any information regarding the death of the endangered bird.

Previously it was $2,500.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is involved in the investigation and says the bird was apparently killed with a high-powered rifle.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says remains of the 5-year-old female crane were found Jan. 3 in a field along Indiana 67 near the Goose Pond State Fish and Wildlife Area. Preliminary evidence suggested the bird was shot during the New Year’s Day weekend.

State officials say there are only about 120 whooping cranes in the U.S. and they are federally endangered species.

Officials say the crane had a radio transmitter and was banded and had been tracked for several years.