Reward offered in search for Arizona bighorn sheep poachers

Bighorn sheep in Arizona. (Arizona Game and Fish)

State wildlife officials and conservationists are offering up to $2,500 in reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect or suspects in the recent poaching of a desert bighorn sheep at Gillespie Dam southwest of Phoenix.

The illegal harvest of the ram occurred the evening of July 10 south of Buckeye, the Arizona Game and Fish Department said Friday. Investigators said a group of five Asian males seen leaving the scene at approximately 8:30 p.m. in a gray sedan and a black sport utility vehicle that may have been involved.

"This is a horrible waste of the state’s most precious resource, its wildlife," wildlife manager Ryan Randall said. "We rely heavily on the assistance of the public in coming forward with information, and we are hopeful that a tip could lead us to those responsible for this heinous criminal act."

Anyone with information can call Operation Game Thief hotline at 800-352-0700 regarding case #21-002114.

Tipsters may be eligible for a reward up to $1,500 for information that leads to an arrest in this case. The Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society is offering an additional reward of $1,000 for information that leads to a conviction.

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