Game and Fish Department seeks killer of cougar at Colossal Cave park

2013-06-21T00:00:00Z 2013-06-21T08:37:28Z Game and Fish Department seeks killer of cougar at Colossal Cave parkDoug Kreutz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Investigators are trying to determine who shot and killed a mountain lion at a campsite near Colossal Cave Mountain Park southeast of Tucson.

The lion, an adult female, was found June 12 with multiple gunshot wounds, said Mark Hart, spokesman for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

"We are pursuing significant leads," Hart said. "We have physical evidence, and there are persons of interest in the case, but no charges have been filed as of yet."

Hart said there was no indication the lion was being aggressive when it was shot.

"That would be a plausible reason to kill a mountain lion - if it were being aggressive," he said. "If you are in threat of life and limb, and an attack is imminent or in progress, you can kill a lion even if you don't have a (hunting) tag or license."

People also are allowed to kill mountain lions that are killing livestock, so long as they report the incident promptly to the Game and Fish Department and provide evidence of the livestock killing.

"But neither of those (a threat to people or livestock killing) seems to have been the case in this instance," Hart said.

He said killing a mountain lion illegally is a second-class misdemeanor and carries maximum penalties of a $750 fine and four months in jail.

Hart said anyone with information about the case can call 1-800-352-0700.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@azstarnet.com or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz

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