Desert bighorn sheep poached and left for dead

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department) (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)
YUMA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A desert bighorn sheep was found dead near Yuma and the Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking information about the poaching of the ram.

The body was found floating in the Wellton-Mohawk Canal, where it meets the Gila Main Gravity Canal. Portions of the hide, legs and head of the animal had been removed. Additional leg parts were found floating in Fortuna Pond nearby.

[RELATED: Bighorn sheep thrive in Santa Catalina mountains near Tucson]

It is believed the animal was shot on or around Oct. 9 and that the suspects may have been visiting or camping at Fortuna Pong.

“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.”

The department’s Operation Game Thief Program is offering up to $500 for information that can lead to the arrest of those responsible for killing the adult ram. The Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society is offering an additional reward of up to $500 for the conviction in the case.

[RELATED: Feds, conservation groups offer $15K for wolf's killer]

If you have information call the department’s Operation Game Thief hotline at (800)-352-0700, or visit http://www.azgfd.gov/ogt_form.shtml, and refer to case #17-004025. Callers can remain anonymous upon request. 

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