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

A second pedestrian was hit and killed by a vehicle on eastbound Interstate 10 near the Broadway Cu...

2nd pedestrian struck, killed in separate incident on EB Interstate 10 in Phoenix

A second pedestrian was hit and killed by a vehicle on eastbound Interstate 10 near the Broadway Curve in Phoenix on Monday.

50 minutes ago

Carol Norrs, 86, of Mesa was found dead in the desert on Dec. 11, 2023....

86-year-old Mesa woman found dead in desert nearly month after disappearance

An 86-year-old Mesa woman was found dead in a desert area almost a month after she went missing, authorities said Monday.

1 hour ago

Protesters shout as they join march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court decision to ...

Associated Press

Arizona Supreme Court scheduled to hear arguments on abortion law

The Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday on whether the pre-statehood abortion ban of 1864 should apply.

2 hours ago

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs sits in a classroom with a group of elementary school students in a fi...

Kevin Stone

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs invests $2M in teacher mentoring after task force issues findings

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs didn’t take long to act after her Educator Retention Task Force reported its findings, but there are plenty of issues left to address.

3 hours ago

Crews work to secure a gas leak near Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and 92nd Street on Monday, Dec. 1...

Crews work to secure significant gas leak, restricting traffic in Scottsdale

Traffic was restricted Monday morning on a major Scottsdale through street while crews worked to fix a significant gas leak, authorities said.

5 hours ago

Follow @suelenrivera...

SuElen Rivera

Tickets for ‘Hamilton’ at ASU Gammage in Tempe go on sale

Show tickets to see the Broadway sensation musical "Hamilton" in the summer in Tempe's ASU Gammage went on sale Monday.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @iamdamonallred...

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. 


Dierdre Woodruff

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.

Arizona wildlife officers kill 3 aggressive mountain lions