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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 18th November 2016 > DEAD BIRD FLYING


Saved from extinction once, whooping cranes are still struggling to survive because of trigger-happy goons


AS THEIR population slowly climbs, majestic whooping cranes are under constant threat. Not from predators or climate change or habitat loss, but from people with guns.

Authorities rarely catch people who kill cranes, but they caught one in Texas. In late October, a judge sentenced the 19-year-old man who shot and killed two whooping cranes—and bragged about it—to five years’ probation.

The case is a rare example of a successful prosecution under the Endangered Species Act, which outlaws the killing of endangered animals. The punishment is up to a year in prison and as much as $50,000 in fines for each animal.

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