GILA BEND, Ariz. (AP) State wildlife officials are investigating the illegal killing of a desert bighorn sheep in southwest Arizona and teaming up with local hunting and conservation groups to post a $6,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone responsible.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department said Friday the carcass of the adult ram was found not far from a farm field near Gila Bend, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) southwest of Phoenix. It apparently had been shot and left for dead around the weekend of Jan. 13, investigators said.

The Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, Arizona Deer Association and Arizona Antelope Foundation are contributing a combined $6,000 to the reward and the state department’s Operation Game Thief another $500, authorities said.

There is no justifiable reason to poach an animal during a closed season and leave it to waste. Poachers are not hunters or sportsmen; they are criminals who are stealing from the residents of Arizona,” said Travis Clarkson, a wildlife manager in the departments Yuma region.

Due to the location of the crime scene, a hunter, an off-highway vehicle user, or a field worker near the area may have seen something or heard something that may assist officers in solving this case,” he said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at 1-800-352-0700.