27,500.00 for a bird! It is bad one got shot but that is ridiculous.
The county judge of Aransas County has testified under oath that the Whooping Cranes and refuge generate millions a year in tax revenue to Aransas County and the refuge is critical to the health of the bay and economy dependent on it which is worth tens of millions a year and hundreds of millions in property value.
So, no it is not a ridiculous amount in comparison.
If the Whooping Cranes were not there, the refuge would not be there. It would be just another stretch of coast with chemical plants, shopping strips, and some weekend homes and a bay comparable in recreation, hunting, fishing and seafood quality to Lavaca or Nueces Bay.
Given that the "hunter" is hiding, expect to see a vigorous prosecution if he is caught rather than him stepping up and owning what probably was an honest mistake. With the money coming to the table, will be interesting to see if one of his friends turns him out or he cracks from worrying about whether his friends will turn him in.