As if the last month’s revelation of a pair of murdered Whooping Cranes wasn’t devastating enough, the bad news just keeps on coming. Another pair of Whoopers has been shot, this time in Louisiana. The female was killed but experts suggest the male will survive, although perhaps without the ability to fly. (Image above by AP Photo/Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.)
The pair was part of a project aimed at restoring the birds to Louisiana. (The pair shot last year in Kentucky belonged to Operation Migration’s project establishing a migratory flock in the eastern United States; there is also the last true wild flock, which winters in Texas and summers in Canada.) A reward of $1000 has been offered for information helping authorities track down the shooters; more info is here.
Seriously, hunters. (Or, rather, jerks who give the vast majority of ethical hunters a bad name.) Please get our endangered species out of your sights, and shoot something else.
As I have with every other Whooper incident, I’ll posit that this has nothing to do with hunting and everything to do with anti-government sentiment. Rural red state areas are loaded with people who have a violent disdain for any Federal involvement in anything. The Endangered Species Act is a frequent target. Call me cynical, but I’m convinced a majority of these shootings are just a big middle finger to the ESA, rather than irresponsible or unethical hunting.
I agree with Kirby. Living in the middle of the wolf wars, I have met or heard of a lot of people (I’d use a harsher word, but I believe there are language standards on this site) whose reaction to being asked to help preserve our common heritage is to spitefully smash things like a toddler.
What I’d truly like to see is those ethical hunters and gun proponents take something like this and make it THEIR business to make it stop! Clearly we nature “nuts” have a problem with the shooting of endangered species. Let’s hear the same from the gun lobby!
Do hunters go out and indiscriminately shoot at anything that flies? If so, they are not very bright. Honestly, common sense should tell them that some birds are endangered or protected by law. Would they go bald eagle hunting?