Game & Fish backs decision to kill Peoria mountain lion - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Game & Fish backs decision to kill Peoria mountain lion

PEORIA, AZ (CBS5) -

Many CBS 5 News viewers and readers have been asking why a mountain lion wandering through a Peoria backyard had to be killed?

Arizona Game and Fish said it's never an easy choice, but that it supports the Peoria Police Department's decision to shoot and kill the animal.

"One of the things in wildlife management is you've got to think with your head and not with your heart," said biologist Randy Babb with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The mountain lion that was shot by police in a Peoria neighborhood Monday evening was only 12 to 18 months old, and separated from its mother.

Babb said, "They have attacked people and pets. So it was a potentially dangerous animal in a neighborhood where there's small kids and pets."

Additionally, the animal was acting abnormally, either just because it was young, or it may have been diseased.

"In the best interests of mountain lions in Arizona and in the best interest of human safety, it was best that this animal was removed and tested for disease and that's what we're doing right now," said Babb.

And for those who feel humans are moving into the cats' territory - they're right.

"This is the great tragedy of growing like Arizona is growing. This is something that's happening, every day, somewhere in the state. Some animal is up where it doesn't belong and it's suffering, so when we develop wildlife habitat, those animals become essentially, homeless," added Babb.

But under the umbrella of public safety, Game and Fish stands behind the decision to take down the cat.

"This was a really unfortunate situation and nobody enjoys the way it came out," said Babb.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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