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Arizona wildlife officers kill 3 aggressive mountain lions

PHOENIX — Arizona wildlife officials killed three big cats this week after they were deemed a public safety threat.

The Arizona Game and Fish Service (AZGFD) said Thursday that a mountain lion is believed to have killed several domestic dogs in Prescott.

This predator, which rarely attacks humans, has also shown a lack of aggression and fear towards humans. AZGFD said relocating them was not an option as the threat would move to another community.

Police killed an adult female mountain lion on Sunday after a Northwestern Prescott resident was reported to have attacked his dog. The man also said another puma displayed aggression towards him.

Two other mountain lions killed on Tuesday and Wednesday this week are believed to be adult-sized cubs of the first.

They were part of a herd of four mountain lions that had been exhibiting unacceptable behavior around Prescott for several weeks. AZGFD officials are searching the area for a fourth big cat. Members of the public may report sightings to 623-236-7201.

“These are never easy decisions for us. As wildlife biologists, we dedicate our careers to managing healthy and robust wild animal populations, and culling animals is never an option. We want to avoid it,” said AZGFD Kingman Regional Supervisor Karen Klima. said in a press release.

“But public safety is our number one priority and the situation has risen to a level of risk to our communities and we have had to act.”

Mountain lions, also known as cougars, grow to weigh between 75 and 150 pounds and are widespread in the deserts and forested mountains of Arizona. Attacks are rare, but can cause serious injury or death to humans.

In March, a mountain lion attacked a man camping on the banks of the Salt River in Gila County during a rafting trip. A group of 10 rafters paddled off the animals and reached safety on the raft.

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