Dallas-Born Whooping Crane Shot in Louisiana

Whooping crane
Whooping crane raised at the Dallas Zoo | Image by Dallas Zoo

A whooping crane raised at the Dallas Zoo has been found shot dead in Louisiana.

In June 2023, a crane egg was transferred from the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin, to the Dallas Zoo. The egg was then cared for by foster parents Huckleberry and Juniper. Miraculously, the bird successfully hatched, the first time in the Dallas Zoo’s 136-year history.

The newly born crane was later transported to the Audubon Species Survival Center in Louisiana in September, where it was placed with three other whooping crane chicks. Two months later, in November, the cranes were released at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in an effort to bolster the species’ population.

Sadly, early this year, the crane chick who temporarily called Dallas home was found with a fatal gunshot wound near Mamou, Louisiana.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, the species has been endangered for over half a century. Criminal penalties for harming or killing an endangered species can include up to one year in prison and $50,000 in fines, in addition to civil penalties.

The Dallas Zoo is not a stranger to the tragic deaths of its residents. In January 2023, The Dallas Express reported on the suspicious death of an endangered vulture. While foul play was not confirmed, officials say a routine necropsy indicated the death was likely not natural.

The zoo has dealt with a rash of security issues in recent years, from missing clouded leopards to vandalized cages to kidnapped tamarin monkeys. The incidents culminated in the Dallas institution spending over $1 million in facility upgrades over the past year.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has increased the reward for information on the whooping crane death in Louisiana to $15,000, up from the original $5,000.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article