State Officials are extremely serious about crimes when it comes to enforcing wildlife laws, and now a man is going to spend 45 days in federal prison and pay a $2500 fine for killing a whooping crane in 2014.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesman Adam Einck says the accused is 21-year-old Lane Thibodeaux of Vermilion Parish.

“This young man was out joy riding around and shooting at birds and about three years ago he struck a whooping crane in the leg. The whooping crane was found, it was brought the LSU Veterinary Center and they had to euthanize it.”

Einck says LDWF agents were able to catch Thibodeaux after putting up a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. He says multiple informants came forward which is exactly why big rewards like this are offered.

“They were able to give us a lot of information that was able to implicate Mr. Thibodeaux. We then were able to seize his cell phone, get more information off of that, which led to his arrest.”

Einck says Thibodeaux also faces charges amid allegations he threatened people who reported him. He says one of the arguments Thibodeaux made in court was that he didn’t know he was shooting at the protected whooping crane, but that didn’t fly.

“The first thing you learn in hunter education is to identify your target. You don’t shoot at anything unless you know exactly what it is, and in this case if it were either an accident or not, the same penalties would apply.”

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