Mountain lion poached near park, Game and Fish seek justice

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Mountain lion poached near park, Game and Fish seek justice

By Cory Marshall. CREATED Jun 20, 2013

VAIL, Ariz.(KGUN9-TV) - Arizona Game and Fish officials say someone illegally shot and killed a 150 pound female mountain lion. It happened last week in the Colossal Cave Mountain Park.

"[I'm] appalled, you know there was no call for it. The people who did it are just totally unhappy people," park goer David Newcomb told 9OYS.

"Well, I think that maybe a lot of people are scared but I don't think that's the right answer," another park goer added.

Game and Fish investigators say they have solid leads, evidence and persons of interest.

"Everybody should be outraged over the illegal killing of wildlife particularly a mountain lion," Arizona Game and Fish Department spokesperson Mark Hart said.

"Under no circumstances are we going to tolerate a random shooting of a mountain lion or any wildlife that's protected for that matter," Hart continued.

Exactly when it happened and where it happened, no one is saying. The mountain lion's body is now in a lab undergoing tests.

Mountain lion hunting is legal in the state but a person has to have a hunting license and a big game tag for a mountain lion; or in the instance a mountain lion is aggressive, a person has the right to defend himself. Hart says whoever did this, did not have either.

The shooter will likely face a slew of charges, ranging from fines to possible jail time.

Game and Fish investigators believe they have a solid case but are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crime to call their tip line at, 1-800-352-0700.