There are only about 300 whooping cranes left in the wild, and they are protected by federal law.
In other words, it is a federal crime to kill one, a violation of the Endangered Species Act, and the feds take it seriously. Just this month, a young man in South Dakota pleaded guilty to killing one last April, and he was given an $85,000 fine, put on two years probation, ordered to surrender his rifle and banned from hunting, fishing or trapping anywhere in the country for two years.
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