Whistling for the Jaguar

The un-redacted story of the jaguar, Macho B's snaring and death.


On March 2, 2009 Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) coordinated the re-capture of Macho B as satellite transmissions from his collar proved he had not moved much since his initial capture twelve days prior.  Field crew could not locate Macho B so at 11:51am a Wildlife Services houndsman and two hounds were dropped off by helicopter near Macho B’s last transmitted location.  The hounds located Macho B quickly and treed him 100 yds. uphill.  An AZGFD contract vet, Ole Alcumbrac, present for the re-capture noted Macho B was “almost dragging its hind quarters as it climbed a rock ledge.”  The hounds were then held back as the helicopter came in and a tranquilizer dart was shot from the whirly bird into Macho B’s left, hind leg.  The drugs used were ketamine and medetomidine.  Mr. Alcumbrac administered fluids intravenously to Macho B, intubated him, and kept him sedated with gas anesthesia while he was transported to the Phoenix Zoo for further treatment and examination.

Macho B was taken into a treatment room at the Phoenix Zoo at 3:45pm.  He had already received two liters of fluid and was hooked up for more while the vets assessed his health.  Immediately a blood in-house analysis was done and the blood values identified kidney failure.  Macho B also had a broken canine tooth that exposed the root canal and severe emphysema in his hind, left limb (Thorry Smith, the AZGFD field technician that initially collared Macho B and was present for the re-capture described Macho B’s left, hind leg as “dark in color, almost black” and feeling like “bubble wrap”).  For these reasons AZGFD decided to euthanize Macho B with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) consent.  At 5:13 pm Macho B was given 12ml of Euthasol IV and pronounced dead at 5:15 pm.

A cosmetic necropsy was performed on Macho B at the request of AZGFD and with the consent of USFWS.  The gross diagnosis was: suspect kidney failure and broken canine leading to overall decline.

Under the blogroll is a link to the photos taken of Macho B at his initial capture and then re-capture.


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