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Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 4:06am

Reward Offered For Whooping Crane Deaths

A federal agency is offering a $12,500 reward for information about the illegal shootings of three endangered whooping cranes in southwest Georgia.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the reward Wednesday in hopes of generating tips leading to an arrest and prosecution of whoever killed the migratory birds.

The cranes were found dead Dec. 30 by hunters in Calhoun County west of Albany. Authorities say necropsies on the whooping cranes determined all three been shot.

The cranes were released in late 2010 in Wisconsin as part of a program to reintroduce the birds to the eastern United States.

It's estimated there are only about 570 whooping cranes remaining worldwide.

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