facebook
twitter
search
search

Dead mountain lion in Calif. was mutilated

April 26, 2012 at 1:21 AM

LOS ANGELES, April 26 (UPI) -- Someone illegally mutilated a mountain lion killed by a truck on a California highway, probably in hopes of selling the paws, state officials say.

The state Department of Fish and Game has offered a $2,000 reward, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A driver called in a report of an animal on Highway 101 near Buellton in Santa Barbara County early Tuesday morning. A California Highway Patrol officer who found the carcass moved it off the road and out of the sight of passing drivers and called Fish and Game to report the death at about 5:30 a.m.

The investigator who arrived at 9 a.m., Lt. Jim Solis, discovered the front paws had been cut off. Solis believes the lion was hit by a truck after chasing a deer onto 101.

Mountain lions are a "specially protected species" in California. Hunting them is banned and possession of mountain lion parts or carcasses is also illegal.

"One theory that we're exploring is that someone was listening to a police scanner and was able to get to the scene before our warden," Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Export-Import Bank ends operations as Congress failed to reauthorize
Germanwings pilot Lubitz buried quietly amid investigation
Islamic State beheads women for sorcery
Study: 1 in 3 Americans owns at least one gun, social culture a factor
Russia investigates legality of 1991 recognition of Baltic independence