Arizona wildlife officers kill 3 aggressive mountain lions

May 26, 2023, 9:00 AM

A sign warns campers and hikers about mountain lions. Arizona wildlife officers killed three mounta...

(Arizona Game and Fish Department Photo)

(Arizona Game and Fish Department Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona wildlife officers killed three mountain lions this week after the big cats were deemed a threat to public safety.

The mountain lions are believed to have killed several pet dogs in Prescott, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) announced Thursday.

The predators, which rarely attack people, also exhibited aggression and a lack of fear toward humans. Relocating them wasn’t an option because it would have moved the threat to a different community, AZGFD said.

Officers killed an adult female mountain lion on Sunday after a northwest Prescott resident reported that it attacked his dog. The man also said another mountain lion showed aggression toward him.

The two other mountain lions killed this week, one Tuesday and the other Wednesday, are believed to be adult-sized offspring of first one.

They were among a group of four mountain lions the had been displaying unacceptable behavior around Prescott for several weeks. AZGFD officers are searching the area for the fourth big cat. Members of the public can report sightings to 623-236-7201.

“These are never easy decisions on our part. As wildlife biologists, we dedicate our careers to managing for healthy and robust wildlife populations, and the last thing we want to do is put an animal down,” Karen Klima, AZGFD Kingman regional supervisor, said in a press release.

“But public safety is our top priority, and this situation had risen to a level where there was a risk to the community and we had to act.”

Mountain lions, also called cougars, grow to between 75 and 150 pounds and have extensive ranges in Arizona’s desert and forested mountain areas. While attacks are rare, they are capable of seriously injuring or killing a human.

In March, a mountain lion attacked a man who was camping on the edge of the Salt River in Gila County during a rafting trip. A group of 10 rafters fought off the animal with their paddles and reached safety on their rafts.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

File photo of Phoenix Police cruiser with lights on at night...

Collision leaves 1 dead, another seriously injured in north Phoenix

Police is investigating a collision that killed one adult man and seriously injured another in north Phoenix.

6 hours ago

File photo showing the side of a Phoenix police department SUV stopped in front of a wall on the si...

South Phoenix collision leaves 1 dead, 2 others hospitalized

Phoenix detectives are investigating a collision Sunday morning that left one passenger dead, two other people hospitalized.

6 hours ago

(KTAR file photos)...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from March 1-3

From bad driving and airport expansions to crimes and sliders, here are some of the biggest stories in Phoenix from this weekend.

6 hours ago

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court has h...

Associated Press

Supreme Court decision on Trump’s election status could come Monday morning

A SCOTUS decision could come Monday in the case about whether Trump can be kicked off the ballot over his efforts to undo his 2020 defeat.

7 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley poses for a selfie after speakin...

Associated Press

Nikki Haley wins D.C. Republican primary, her first 2024 victory

Nikki Haley has won the Republican primary in the District of Columbia, notching her first victory of the 2024 campaign.

7 hours ago

FILE - A voting sign is seen near a voting center at Croft Baptist Church, Feb. 24, 2024, in Sparta...

Associated Press

A chunk of Republican primary and caucus voters say they wouldn’t vote for Trump as the GOP nominee

About 1 in 10 early contest voters who said they supported Trump in the 2020 general election said they wouldn’t be doing so this year.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Arizona wildlife officers kill 3 aggressive mountain lions