LAFAYETTE — A whooping crane that initially survived a gunshot wound earlier this month was euthanized Wednesday after his condition worsened beyond recovery, according to the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The male crane was one of two of the endangered species discovered Feb. 7 in Jefferson Davis Parish near Compton and Radio Tower roads north of Roanoke.
Wildlife agents suspect the birds had been shot the day before.
A female crane was dead when it was found, but the male crane was alive and agents brought the bird to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, where it had been recovering after a surgery before taking a turn for the worse Tuesday.
The bird “had weakened to the point that any efforts to try to revive him would have exacerbated his condition,” Wildlife and Fisheries stated in a news release.
Agents are still searching for the person or persons who shot the birds and are offering $15,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
The whooping cranes were brought here as part of a project launched in 2011 to reintroduce the endangered birds to the south Louisiana marshes where they roosted decades ago.
Three other cranes have been found shot and killed since the reintroduction began, two in 2011 in Jefferson Davis Parish and one in 2013 in Red River Parish.
Anyone with information on the recent shooting is asked to call (800) 442-2511.