Wildlife officials in the U.S State of Arizona said they have shot three mountain lions which fed on human remains found near a popular hiking trail.
Pima County Sheriff’s Department said it had found human remains at Pima Canyon Trail in the hills north of Tucson and the Arizona Game and Fish Department said the three lions were killed overnight.
They were not believed to have killed anyone but human remains were found in their droppings.
“We do not believe the lion attacked the individual who died there. An autopsy will tell us more. But our belief is they were eating the human remains after the fact,” Game and Fish spokesman Mark Hart told local TV station KGUN9.
Feeding on human remains made the lions a danger.
“Rarely scavengers, such abnormal behavior made them more likely to attack humans in the future,” Game and Fish said in a statement, adding the big cats “repeatedly showed no fear of responding officers.”
There are believed to be between 2,000 and 2,700 mountain lions across Arizona.
In February 2019, a trail runner in neighboring Colorado survived a mountain lion attack by suffocating the 80-pound (36-kilogram) animal.