After an almost two-year-long investigation, enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited two people in connection with the shooting deaths of whooping cranes in Acadia Parish.
According to a news release, Kaenon A. Constantin, 25, and a juvenile from Rayne were cited on April 3 for violating the Endangered Species Act, hunting from a public road and obstruction of justice.
The cranes were found just south of Rayne off of Highway 35 and Hains Highway on the afternoon of May 20, 2016. The birds were recovered and sent in for a necropsy, which revealed they were both shot, the release states.
Through the course of the investigation, agents determined that Constantin and the juvenile allegedly shot the two whooping cranes with .22 caliber rifles on an all-terrain vehicle from a public road, according to the release.
Agents seized two .22 caliber rifles and an ATV in connection with the violations, the release states.
Violating the Endangered Species Act brings up to a $50,000 fine and a year in jail. Hunting from a public road carries up to a $15,000 fine and six months in jail, and obstruction of justice brings up to 10 years in jail.
The LDWF has released 125 whooping cranes since 2011, and are currently tracking 66 of the birds. The cranes in this case were released in December of 2015.