Authorities seek teen suspects after report of fatal cougar stoning

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UTAH COUNTY – Officials said a man and his daughter hiking in Payson Canyon saw a group of teens near a tree, and when they approached the tree the teens fled and the pair found the bloodied, still-warm body of a cougar.

The incident occurred on January 26, and the man told authorities they approached the tree when they saw the group of male teens, but the teens ran away; the man told officials the animal was dead at the base of the tree with rocks around it.

Shawn Bagley is a conservation officer with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and he said the father told officials he and his daughter tried to pursue the teens but could not find them. After failing to catch them, the father called authorities to report the killing.

Bagley said cougars are not endangered animals but are protected. Under current rules, a permit is required to harvest a cougar.

The DWR is offering a reward in the case, and anyone with information about the killing is asked to contact the DWR tip line, 1-800-662-3337. Tips can also be reported online.


    • Trish Ramirez

      So the little sociopaths should torture it to death with rocks because it may be sick and dying? This is a typical attitude around here, laytonian. Everything is here for man’s use and at man’s disposal, because god said so. It seems like there is some kind of discernible ratio that we should be able to figure out having to do with religious ignorance and the destruction of wildlife and wild lands for no purpose.

      There is something wrong with a society that raises their kids to think it’s somehow okay to kill for the sake of killing. Not to eat or protect yourself but just to kill something because you can. I don’t buy the “putting it out of its misery’ argument, because if they were trying to do something humane they would have come back with a gun or contacted someone to put the cat down. Even if it it was old, sick, injured, whatever,, what gave these kids the right or even the inclination to torture it to death? Sickening mindset. Sickening attitudes. Human beings need to take a step back and re-evaluate their place in the world Other sentient beings are just as conscious as we are, you only have to look into their eyes to know this for a fact. They may not process the world precisely the same, but to pretend that they have no thoughts, feelings, or understanding is ridiculous.

    • Nick Nicholas

      @Eric happens to be right. To kill a mountain lion, (cougar) with rocks and not have it attack could only have happened if the animal was sick or already incapacitated. The odds of doing so to a healthy animal is near zilch. Now I’m not defending these kids. What they did was very wrong. But, over stating the crime is wrong too. I bet these guys saw a sick or dying mountain lion and wanted to take the pelt. They then became poachers. Their choice of weapons, if used properly, would not be much less humane that the bolt guns used to put the food on your table. So, lets get real, we aren’t looking for some sick maniacs, but rather unscrupulous poachers.

  • laytonian

    Typical Utahns.
    Topple natural wonders that took multi-millions of years to form and kill wildlife “just for fun”.

  • Scott Devine

    Who was in payson canyon on this night??? Your boyscout troop, your family gathering… ??? Someone in the community knows who these boys are.. time to step up and face the music… NO MORE KILLING WILD ANIMALS….

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