YUMA - Arizona Game and Fish Department authorities have killed a mountain lion in the Tank Mountains northeast of Yuma, the second big cat to be removed in the area in less than a year for killing desert bighorn sheep.
The mountain lion, killed Saturday, had killed four desert bighorn sheep and five mule deer since being captured and collared by the department in October, Game and Fish spokesman Gary Hovatter said Thursday.
“This is not a plan about mountain lion eradication,” Hovatter said. “It’s a plan about bighorn sheep restoration.”
The sheep population in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding area was found to be at historic low numbers during a 2006 population survey.
Hovatter said the Kofa herd was once one of the most robust in the nation and has been a critically important source of transplant sheep for restoring the species to Arizona and other southwestern U.S. mountain ranges for more than 50 years.