$18,000 in La Operation Game Thief rewards in 2013
BATON ROUGE - State officials say Louisiana paid $18,000 last year to tipsters who helped arrest 68 people accused of killing protected animals, poaching and other wildlife violations.
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesman Adam Einck says Louisiana Operation Game Thief reviewed 47 cases and gave rewards in 41 considered flagrant violations. He says four cases brought more than one tipster, so 48 people were paid.
Last year's largest total reward - including $7,000 from other sources - was $8,000 to three tipsters who helped arrest a man later convicted of killing a threatened Louisiana black bear Nov. 27, 2012, in Avoyelles Parish.
A $15,000 reward for information about whoever killed an endangered whooping crane in Red River Parish went unclaimed.
Einck says Operation Game Thief doesn't keep require or track convictions.