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Camper kills rabid mountain lion

A group of campers killed a rabid mountain lion Friday south of Payson, the first reported case of the virus in Gila County in more than a year. The mountain lion was reportedly killed by a camper after it ran through the group’s campsite and attacked a dog. The group of four was camping in a remote section of the Tonto National Forest, downstream of Sheep Bridge along the Verde River, near the junction of Bloody Basin Road south of Payson, according to officials with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The group was reportedly eating breakfast Friday about 6:30 a.m., when a mountain lion ran out of the bushes and attacked a 90-pound pit bull and Labrador retriever mix.

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