Javelina feed on tubers and some pieces of bread spread in Picture Rocks.

The state's game and fish department is offering a $500 reward for information regarding poisoned wildlife found in the Canada de Oro Wash, officials said.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department believes a pesticide caused the deaths of two javelinas and an owl found in the wash, said department spokesman, Mark Hart.

Two dogs who had recently been in the area where the animals' remains were found also became sick and one has since died, Hart said.

“If you are using pesticides, you may only legally do so on your own property, and in a way that doesn’t put wildlife at risk,” said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega. “While the apparent poisonings of the pets and wildlife may be inadvertent, we are investigating this as a possible criminal violation nonetheless.”

The department suggests using humane straps or standard mouse traps to control pests like packrats. The department also recommends using anticoagulant baits sparingly and placing the bait indoors or very close to structures to avoid the possibility of wildlife eating the contaminated pests, Hart said.

It's also a good idea to have a plan for the safe and prompt collection and disposal of contaminated carcasses, including daily monitoring of the treated area.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the department's Operation Game Thief 24-hours a day, seven days a week at 800-352-0700.

The call can be anonymous and callers are asked to reference case number 17-001961.

A report can also be filed online at azgfd.gov/ogt_form.shtml.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191


I'm a watchdog reporter covering local government, the University of Arizona and sports investigations.