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Arizona ends ban on lion hunting in Kofa refuge

TUCSON – The Arizona Game and Fish Department has ended a moratorium on shooting lions in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge north of Yuma.

The agency says the mountain lion population in Arizona is not threatened, endangered or at risk.

It says the Kofa desert bighorn sheep population is at risk and deserves intervention on its behalf.

The moratorium ended July 31, 15 months after Game and Fish instituted it after protests by environmentalists against the state shooting two mountain lions in the refuge.

Despite the moratorium’s end, a state lawmaker from Tucson does not want the department to shoot lions until the federal government finishes an environmental study on the issue early next year.

Rep. Daniel Patterson says that’s what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requested.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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