Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ariz. Game and Fish kills big horn sheep-eating cougar

Associated Press - September 2, 2009 3:54 PM ET

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) - State Game and Fish Department agents have killed a mountain lion known to be preying heavily on bighorn sheep in the Kofa Mountains of southwestern Arizona.

A news release says the lion was killed Tuesday in the Eagletail Mountains located about 90 miles northeast of Yuma.

Game and Fish said the kill was necessary to help restore the struggling Kofa bighorn sheep population, whose numbers declined from an estimated 815 in 2000 to a low of 391 in 2006.

The male lion was fitted with a telemetry collar and was known to have killed 15 bighorns since late February.

The Center for Biological Diversity strongly objected to the cougar's killing, saying Game and Fish should be taking other measures to protect the sheep herd before killing other animals.

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