New Mexico Investigates Illegal Shooting of Bobcat

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The Department of Game and Fish has filed charges alleging an off-duty Department conservation officer was involved in the illegal killing of a bobcat Jan. 25 near Raton.

According to official reports, officer Levi Irwin, 26, shot and killed a bobcat from a vehicle while the bobcat was feeding on a road-killed deer within the right-of-way of N.M. 555 west of Raton. Shooting from a vehicle and shooting a protected animal in a highway right-of-way are illegal in New Mexico. Officer Irwin has not been arraigned on either charge.

Reports said officer Irwin admitted to shooting the bobcat in the right-of-way from his personal vehicle. He has been employed by the Department since September 2005.

"The Department is committed to ensuring equal application of the law regardless of who may be accused of violating wildlife laws," Department Deputy Director Bob Jenks said. "We strive to maintain the public's trust and confidence in our professional staff."