CEDAR CITY - Federal and state law-enforcement officials are offering a $1,000-plus reward in hopes of nabbing the poacher who gunned down a young mountain lion in southern Utah.
"It's a shame when something like this happens," Lt. Scott Dalebout of the state Division of Wildlife Resources said Wednesday. "We can use the public's help."
Dalebout said the female yearling - which had been weaned from her mother but still was learning hunting skills from her - was found dead from a single bullet wound Saturday morning off State Route 12 about 200 yards inside the east boundary of Bryce Canyon National Park near Tropic.
The young cougar had been seen Friday feeding on the carcass of a road-kill deer with its mother and another young lion, believed to be its twin.
Dalebout believes the cat was shot by someone driving on the road.
He said the National Park Service is offering a $1,000 reward for information on the shooter, and DWR would come up with additional money. The park service is investigating the killing because it happened in the park.
Dalebout said he did not know if charges would be filed in state or federal court.
He said it was the second illegal killing of a mountain lion in the past year. Another cougar was found earlier trapped and killed in Wayne County.
Anyone with information on who shot the young mountain lion in Garfield County can call:
* LT. SCOTT DALEBOUT: 435-865-6100
* CHIEF RANGER BRENT MCGINN: 435-834-4800
* POACHING HOT LINE: 800-662-DEER