NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana wildlife officials say there's now a $15,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever shot two endangered whooping cranes this month, killing one of them.
They say zoos in Florida, Louisiana, and Massachusetts are among many groups and people who contributed to the reward.
The birds were shot Feb. 7 near Roanoke in Jefferson Davis Parish. They were a mated pair, and were making practice nests last year, encouraging biologists.
The female died; the male is recovering after surgery at the Louisiana State University veterinary hospital in Baton Rouge.
Whooping cranes are among the world's largest and rarest birds. Only about 600 are alive.
State and federal biologists have been trying since early 2011 to create a flock in southwest Louisiana by releasing birds raised in captivity.