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Date: 12-12-2013

Six whooping cranes reported; species off limits for hunting

Kentucky Press News Service

The Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that wildlife biologists have confirmed the presence of five federally protected whooping cranes in Hopkins County and received a report of a sixth in Barren County.

The whooping crane is a federally endangered bird that may not be hunted.

Whooping cranes are solid white with black wingtips. They have a red crown. Adults may have a wingspan of 7 ½ feet and stand up to 5 feet tall on stilted legs.

Whooping cranes are similar in silhouette to a sandhill crane. However, sandhill cranes have gray bodies and are smaller than whooping cranes. Kentucky’s sandhill crane hunting season begins Dec. 14 and continues through Jan. 12, or until 400 birds are taken.

People drawn for a sandhill crane quota hunt must pass an online bird identification test before they may receive a permit. As part of its policy, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources provides the public with notification about the presence of whooping cranes in the state when sandhill crane season is open or about to begin.

Wildlife biologists counted 9,200 sandhill cranes in Barren County on Monday. Officials were not able to confirm the report Saturday of a whooping crane in the area, however.
Hunters should be aware of other large-bodied birds currently in the state.

Sloughs Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Henderson County holds approximately 8,000 snow geese. Another 5,000 snow geese also are present at Ballard WMA in Ballard County. Snow geese are white-bodied birds with black wingtips. They do not have stilted legs.

Wildlife biologists also have received reports of tundra swans in central Hardin County, Sloughs WMA, Lake Cumberland and Barren River. Tundra swans are large, solid white birds with wingspans approaching 7 feet. They do not have stilted legs. Tundra swans may not be hunted in Kentucky.

NEEDED---“Home for the Holidays”

Nothing is more cozy and peaceful than a kitty snuggled up to you on a chilly winter’s night in front of a roaring fireplace.  But these kitties won’t know this comfort unless YOU can help. Today we are featuring just a few of the wonderful kitties that are available for adoption at the Lawrence County Humane Society Animal Shelter. These cats are litter box trained, socialized to be around humans and other cats, and would make wonderful companions in any home. And there is still plenty of time to help bring one (or more) of these adorable kitties “Home for the Holidays”.

To find out more about any of these wonderful kitties, or any of the MANY more we currently have at the Animal Shelter, please call Beverly Pack (LC Humane Society Volunteer) at (606) 571-6224 or email Please call for a quicker response. Thank you!!

Date: 12-04-2013

Shelby show pony killed in pit-bull attack;

A popular show pony and training horse owned by one of Shelby County’s most well-known stables was mauled to death in its stall by two pit bulls who were housed on an adjacent property.

Shelby County Sheriff Mike Armstrong said the incident happened at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Premier Stables on U.S. 60, just west of Simpsonville.

Armstrong said two pit bulls from an adjoining property owned by George Tapp had come onto a horse farm and attacked a pony as well as another animal owned by Rob and Sarah Byers, who are among the top trainers and competitors in the American Saddlebred industry.

“The two pit bulls did destroy a pony and a cat,” Armstrong said. “When we arrived, the dogs were on the premises but went back home.”

In addition to being a show horse, the deceased animal, a paint pony named Katie, had been a very popular riding horse at Premier Stables, used by many adults and children for riding lessons.

Sarah Byers, who said that she and Rob were in Georgia during the Thanksgiving holiday when the attack occurred, said she did not want to comment on the incident other than to say that the horse was a beloved mare that she had been using to give riding lessons for many years.

Armstrong said he does not know if charges would be forthcoming in connection with the attack, but it is a possibility.

“We have consulted the county attorney [Hart Megibben], and I feel as though there may be some charges forthcoming,” he said. “The animals went on someone else’s property, and owners are responsible for keeping animals on their own property.”

Animal control officers from the Shelby County Animal Shelter went to Tapp’s property, a fishing lakes compound called Tapp’s Pay Lake, and seized the dogs, Armstrong said.

Tapp did not respond immediately to phone messages left by The Sentinel-News.

Bradley King, supervisor at the shelter, said he could not say whether or not the dogs would be euthanized.

“All I can say is that they [dogs] are still here at the shelter,” he said. “We are still investigating to see what all happened.”

Armstrong said he is not aware of any similar altercations in Simpsonville, and Simpsonville Police Chief Chip Minnis said that other than some cat maulings earlier in the year, he had not heard of any other such incidences.

“We haven’t had any pit bull attacks here,” he said. “There’s been nothing of that nature.”

By Lisa King
The Sentinel-News

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