'Two took it upon themselves to take it down'; Report tells tale of mountain lion poaching
The report states two of the men charged in the shooting used a blade of grass to make a '...predator call'.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Jul. 19, 2013
PIMA COUNTY (KGUN9-TV) - It's a new twist in the case of a mountain lion poaching in Colossal Cave Park.
It's proof, authorities say, that the men who pulled the trigger were not in peril.
It was a majestic animal gunned down in a county-owned park, those responsible claimed it was being aggressive.
But this case report obtained by 9OYS tells a more twisted tale.
"There were a number of people who had knowledge of this and we had to sort all that through," said public information officer Mark Hart, of the Arizona Game & Fish Department.
It describes how Thayne LeFevre, who works at the park, reported seeing the animal "...shaking..." and "...swaying back and forth."
He feared it "...had rabies."
Game and Fish officers told him, he could only kill it if it "...was foaming from the mouth, twitching..." or "...posed an immediate threat."
The report details another sighting near the park's butterfly garden. The mountain lion was '5 feet from kids.'
Fast forward to the evening of June 10th.
"Two individuals not part of the initial reporting took it upon themselves to take it down," said Hart.
The report states, Martin Foersterling and Richard Dailey, who also works at the park, used a blade of grass to make a '...predator call'.
It lures the big cat.
When it arrives, Dailey shoots the animal in the head '...with a .22 long rifle'.
Foersterling follows '...a second and third time... with a 12-gauge shotgun...'.
Officers say the case crumbles with that call.
"You can't make the claim you're being menaced by a mountain lion if you are luring it in with a predator call," said Hart.
It was a vigilante killing, he says, that could have been avoided.
Investigators say there are still several accounts of how LeFevre coordinated this with the two who pulled the trigger.
He says, regardless, all three should have known to call game and fish handle the situation.
Thursday, 9OYS reported Dailey and LeFevre both still work at Colossal Cave Mountain Park.
We caught up with management, who say they have no plans to make any staffing changes until these criminal proceedings play out.
If you'd like to read the full case report, click here.