Judge orders man to pay $85K in deaths of 2 whooping cranes

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FILE – In this March 23, 2018 file photo, an endangered whooping crane flies over a crawfish pond in St. Landry Parish, La. Louisiana’s flock is one of two made up almost entirely of birds raised in captivity and released in the wild to mitigate disaster in case anything happens to the only natural flock. But the COVID-19 pandemic will mean fewer youngsters than usual to release in the wild in fall 2020, helping to bring back the world’s rarest cranes. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A federal magistrate judge has ordered $85,000 in fines and restitution for a Louisiana man who admitted that he and a juvenile shot and killed two whooping cranes.

The judge also says Kaenon Constantin of Rayne cannot hunt until he completes 360 hours of public service. A conservation group says the sentence given Thursday is the toughest ever in Louisiana for a crime involving one of the endangered birds.

U.S. Attorney David Joseph said in a news release Friday that Constantin was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution to the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

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