TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A $1,500 reward is being offered by the Arizona Game and Fish Department Operation Game Thief program, for information that leads to an arrest for the illegal killing of a pregnant javelina.
"While this appears to be a crime of opportunity, it's still poaching and theft of wildlife from the citizens of Arizona," said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish in Tucson, in a recent news release. "It's especially cruel, given that the javelina was pregnant."
According to AZGFD, the javelina was found in Sierra Morado Park at 10431 East Capercaillie on Tucson's east side at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12. It appeared lethargic and severely injured.
It was transported to the Tucson Wildlife Center for treatment, but died before reaching the facility. X-rays showed a BB and metal pellets in the animal's chest and hip.
The javelina was near term with twins when she died.
Tucson News Now talked to folks who live right near the park. They said they often see javelina out here, but none have charged or acted aggressively.
"They knocked over my trash cans the other night and I can understand that can get annoying but coming out where kids are running around and dogs are running around and just shooting – that's crazy," Brian Smith said.
"It's particularly cruel and sad when you think about it. The state assigns a value to wildlife that are poached and we believe this crime is worthy of a $1,500 reward for information leading to an arrest," Mark Hart with the Arizona Game & Fish Department said.
Information may be provided to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700, 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, anonymously if need be. They should reference OGT#17-004034. Information may also be provided on-line at http://www.azgfd.gov/ogt_form.shtml.