Sabino Canyon will remain closed until mountain lions no longer are a substantial, immediate threat to people, Coronado National Forest officials said yesterday.
Despite complaints from local environmental activists, Forest Service officials will track and kill the animals, also known as cougars, which have been stalking visitors in recent days, Santa Catalina District Ranger Larry Raley said.
Trackers will use dogs to follow the scent of the cougars and drive them up trees, where trackers will shoot the cougars, said Arizona Game & Fish spokesman Tom Whetten.
He said the department, which is responsible for the state's wildlife, will not reveal when trackers are sent into Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, because protesters might try to disrupt the hunt.
Visitors to Sabino Canyon were turned away at the gates yesterday, Raley said, and no one has caused problems.