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Desert bighorn sheep poached, left to waste near Yuma

Posted October 24, 2017


AZGFD’s Operation Game Thief program offers reward leading to arrest  


YUMA, Ariz. – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking information about the recent poaching of a desert bighorn sheep that was found near Yuma, Ariz.

A reward of up to $500 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the killing of the adult ram through the department’s Operation Game Thief program. The Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society is offering an additional reward of up to $500 for a conviction in the case.

The carcass was found floating in the Wellton-Mohawk Canal, where it meets the Gila Main Gravity Canal. Some portions of the hide, legs and head of the animal had been removed, and additional leg quarters were found floating in nearby Fortuna Pond.

Game and Fish officials believe the sheep was shot around the week of Oct. 9 and that the suspects might have been visiting or camping at Fortuna Pond during that timeframe.

“There is no justifiable reason to poach an animal during a closed season and leave it to waste,” said Richard Myers, wildlife manager. “Poachers are not hunters or sportsmen. They are criminals who are stealing from the residents of Arizona.

“Due to the location of the crime scene, a fisherman or an off-highway vehicle user near the area may have seen something or heard something that may assist officers in solving this case.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the department’s Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 352-0700, or visit /ogt_form.shtml, and refer to case #17-004025. Callers can remain anonymous upon request.