Portage police department apologizes after officer kills Sandhill Crane

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PORTAGE, Wis. (WMTV) - Chief Ken Manthey of the Portage Police Department apologized to the community after an officer shot a well-known Sandhill Crane Wednesday.

In a press release, Manthey said following the incident, the department will no longer seek permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for harvesting Sandhill Cranes.

A police officer shot and killed the crane after he received numerous complaints that the crane had become a nuisance, by causing damage to vehicles and other property with its beak.

Authorities say the bird had been a problem for more than a year and caused damage to property multiple times.

According to the release Wednesday, the officer involved “feels very badly that citizens had to witness this incident; especially if young children observed this.”

”In hindsight, he realizes that dispatching this bird on a Sunday afternoon on Labor Day weekend was poor judgment and he should have done things differently.

I can assure the public that this officer is an excellent officer and normally uses very good judgment and discretion; this poor decision was very much out of the norm for him.”