May 27, 2023
PRESCOTT, Ariz. – Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) wildlife officers have concluded their operations after a group of four mountain lions in a northwest Prescott neighborhood posed a public threat to the community.
The mountain lions had been in the community over the past few weeks and reportedly killed several pets. The fact that they continued to be seen in proximity to homes and people, appeared to be less fearful of people, and had recently been observed exhibiting aggressive or unacceptable behavior toward people, categorized them as a public safety threat.
Early Saturday morning AZGFD wildlife officers observed the fourth lion had killed a domestic cat and was in the same area as previous pet attacks and aggressive human interactions.
Immediate intervention was taken; the lion was lethally removed to ensure the safety of area residents.
In situations such as this, wildlife officers are guided by the department’s human-wildlife conflicts policy which describes acceptable or unacceptable wildlife behaviors and the appropriate responses. Because the behavior exhibited by these mountain lions was deemed unacceptable and posed a public safety threat, relocation was not an option and the animals were lethally removed.
Mountain lions are predators, and when acting aggressively toward humans can attack, injure and even kill. Earlier this year a mountain lion approached and attacked a man who was camped along the Salt River in Gila County.
Prescott residents who observe a mountain lion exhibiting lack of fear or aggressiveness toward humans are encouraged to contact Arizona Game and Fish Department dispatch center at 623-236-7201. (24/7)
For tips on avoiding conflicts with mountain lions or on what to do if you encounter a mountain lion, visit www.azgfd.gov/urbanwildlife.