UPDATE: State kills mountain lions that fed on human remains in Tucson
Officials reopen area after initially saying it would remain closed for two weeks
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Three mountain lions that fed on human remains at the Pima Canyon Trail have been killed.
The mountain lions are not suspected of killing the victim, but state officials said it was too dangerous to let them live.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department Wednesday said it “lethally removed three mountain lions from Pima Canyon overnight."
Authorities do not believe the mountain lions killed the person, whose remains were discovered near the trailhead by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department Monday night.
“Mountain lions are not routinely scavengers,” said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of AZGFD in Tucson. “A mountain lion eating human remains is abnormal behavior. Those that do are more likely to attack a human being in the future. In addition, they did so 50 yards from a popular hiking trail and within sight of homes, and repeatedly showed no fear of responding officers. They were a clear and present danger to public safety.”
An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday to determine how the person died.
The area was closed Tuesday by the United States Department of Agriculture but it was reopened Wednesday.
“We fully support our partnership with Arizona Game and Fish Department and appreciate their efforts to contribute to a safe environment for our visitors,” said Deputy Santa Catalina District Ranger Charles Clark.
On Tuesday, the USDA said the trail and adjacent area would be closed for two weeks while the Arizona Game and Fish Department attempted to trap mountain lions who have recently interacted with humans.
The incident began Monday night when the Pima County Sheriff’s Department received a call about suspicious activity on the trail.
The humans remains were found a little down from the trailhead, which is near First Avenue and Magee Road in Tucson.
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