“The Indiana TIP program hopes that the increased reward amount will encourage some good citizen to come forward with information that will lead to the arrest of the person who did this,” said Phil Seng, a member of the TIP Citizen’s Advisory Board. “People who break hunting and fishing laws are not hunters or anglers. They are thieves who steal from all of us.”
TIP is a joint effort between the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, sportsmen and sportswomen of Indiana, and concerned citizens. Through this program, any citizen can anonymously report violations of fishing, hunting and environmental laws, and can be eligible for cash rewards. All of the money contributed to rewards comes from private donations.
Wildlife law enforcement agents with the Indiana DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the shooting of the crane, which happened sometime between November 28, when the crane was observed by an International Crane Foundation staff member, and December 1, when an ICF volunteer found the carcass along Vermillion County Road W 310 North, just west of CR N 225 West.
The crane was identified by a leg band, and determined to be the 7-year-old mother of “Wild-1,” the only whooping crane chick successfully hatched and migrated from captivity. The crane and its mate were among 19 whooping cranes migrating from their summer grounds in Wisconsin to their wintering grounds in Florida.
Whooping cranes are protected by the Endangered Species Act, the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and state laws. There are approximately 500 whooping cranes left in the world.
Anyone with information should call the Indiana Department of Natural Resources 24-hour hotline at 1-800-TIP-IDNR (800-847-4367) or the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at 317-346-7016. Callers can remain anonymous.