Reward doubles in shooting of whooping cranes

ANTON, Ky. (AP) - The reward being offered for information in the shooting and death of a mated pair of whooping cranes in western Kentucky has more than doubled with contributions from conservation and animal protection groups.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initially announced a $7,200 reward for information in the case but said Friday it has grown to $15,250.

A wounded crane found injured in November in Hopkins County eventually had to be euthanized. The bird and its mate had been fitted with radio transmitters, and investigators found the remains of the mate five miles away in Muhlenberg County a couple of weeks later. Investigators believe both cranes were shot in the same incident.

Whooping cranes are protected under federal law. Fish and Wildlife says they are the most endangered of all crane species, with fewer than 500 living in the wild in the U.S.

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