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AZGFD: Mountain Lion euthanized after found with at least one gunshot wound in southeast side wash

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TUCSON (KVOA) - An investigation is underway after a mountain lion was found mortally wounded in central Tucson Friday morning.

According to Tucson Police Department, officers were dispatched to the Santa Cruz River to assist AZGFD personnel with a mountain lion sighting in the area.

After further investigation, AZGFD recovered a mortally wounded puma northeast of Glenn and Craycroft roads. Officials say the desert dweller is not expected to survive.

Details are limited at this time.

Stay with News 4 Tucson for the latest details.

The mountain lion was first seen early Friday morning on a security camera.

Cathy Kolbe, whose camera caught the big cat, said as soon as Arizona Game and Fish Department opened at 8 a.m., she called to tell them what she saw.

"The camera that I have out back dinged off at about 3:31 a.m. and showed the mountain lion walking by and then again around 4:20 a.m. I guess, so he was going back and forth," Kolbe said.

The lion walked right down this path, just outside her home.

Blood spots dot the sidewalk the animal walked along.

"And then there's three larger piles, so I'm assuming he stopped for a while," she said.

AZGFD said when they found the 1.5 to 2-year-old lion in a residential area near Grant and Craycroft roads, he was in bad condition and bleeding a lot.

"Because of his age, they say he likely just recently left his mother," Arizona Game and Fish Public Information Officer Mark Hart said.

A video captured the moment when the lion was tranquilized. AZGFD said due severity of its injury, which included at least one gunshot wound to the chest, the mountain lion was euthanized shortly after.

"Young animals like mountain lions will take some time to get oriented to their new territory and so it probably just wandered into town through the Pantano Wash," Hart said.

Hart says it is rare to see mountain lions and when they do get reports, it is usually not this far into town. Generally, sightings are in the Foothills.

Right now, this incident is under investigation and they say it could be a criminal act.

"This was a chest wound so it couldn't have traveled very far and there would be no area for mountain lion hunting within a couple of miles of where it was recovered," Hart said. "So it's something that's concerning to us."

"It makes me feel bad," Kolbe said. "Bothers me that someone shot it to begin with instead of calling for help, but I wish they could've saved him."

Anyone with information is advised to call 1-800-352-0700.

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Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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