Three men sentenced for killing mountain lion in Yellowstone National Park and dragging carcass to their car

20-year-old Austin Peterson and Trey Juhnke, and 19-year-old Corbin Simmons reportedly violated the Lacey Act on December 12 by shooting and killing a male mountain lion


                            Three men sentenced for killing mountain lion in Yellowstone National Park and dragging carcass to their car

Three men have been sentenced in a federal court for illegally hunting a mountain lion in Yellowstone National Park, according to reports.

The men, identified as 20-year-old Austin Peterson and Trey Juhnke, and 19-year-old Corbin Simmons reportedly violated the Lacey Act on December 12 by shooting and killing a male mountain lion.

The news was made public through a press release from the Yellowstone National Park. The release cited documents saying that the trio had crossed a marked boundary in an attempt to hunt their prey. 

All the three accused in the case admitted to shooting the animal and carrying its carcass back into their car, PEOPLE reported.

The release added that Peterson, on Friday, was sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation, barring him from hunting, fishing and trapping. He was also ordered by a court to pay $1,700 in restitution and fees.

While Juhnke and Simmons were sentenced to unsupervised probation in April this year. According to The Casper Star-Tribune, both of the suspects were ordered to pay $1,667 in restitution. 

Prior to court hearings earlier this year, all three suspects pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits hunting wildlife in the national park, according to the release.

Yellowstone National Park Chief Ranger Pete Webster, in a statement, said: "I would like to express a sincere thank you to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, law enforcement officers at Yellowstone National Park, the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch, and the US Attorney’s Office — District of Wyoming for being involved in this case."

“Their thorough work spotlighted this egregious act and the consequences incurred for hunting illegally in Yellowstone National Park," he added.

Biologists estimate that nearly 20-31 adult mountain lions live in the park’s northern range, where the big cat, in this case, was targeted and killed, the release stated.