Good news! Black-tailed prairie dogs are back in Arizona (you were concerned, we're sure). However, a hunter outside of Tucson felt the need to blow one to bits with a high-powered rifle, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
The black-tailed prairie dog once roamed Arizona in abundance until it started dying off in the late 1800s. By the 1950's, the little guys were all but gone.
The AGF imported about 100 of the critters from New Mexico last year in an attempt to reintroduce them to Arizona.
Just last month, the AGF invited about 60 more to join us in the Las Ciengas conservation areas. With all this work trying to get these harmless animals back in Arizona, it was awfully considerate of an Oro Valley man, claiming to be hunting deer, to go Tony Montana on the 4-pound critter with a high-powered .22-caliber rifle over the weekend.
According to Game and Fish, signs were clearly posted all over the area warning hunters not to shoot prairie dogs.
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Somebody witnessed the slaying and told authorities, who tracked the man down and asked him about it -- he said he thought it was a coyote.
For anyone who may be blind or just plain stupid, we understand how someone could confuse a 4-pound prairie dog with a 50-pound coyote.
Authorities are not releasing the man's name until an investigation is complete and any charges are filed.