Whistling for the Jaguar

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

Day 2: February 19

1. McCain receives the “Thorry did it!” email from Thompson

2. McCain emails Smith and Crabb: “I just got the messages. WOW!…Ok, so I am online. Everything looks good…He seems to have moved a far distance…” (the location McCain describes is a mile, more or less, away from the capture site)

3. McCain emails them again: “Ok, he has moved another short bit. He is in a very rugged, rocky area. A perfect place to recover a little.” At some point McCain speaks with Smith on the phone.

4. McCain responds to an email I sent him about the BJDP cameras I checked in the Patagonias on the 18th. The email closes with, “Please tell Thorry congratulations! I am monitoring online. All seems to be well. He is moving well and has arrived at a great hidden spot to recover for a bit. Can you believe this ?!?” I respond to this email with, “Tell Thorry congrats about what? Is the collared animal Macho B?” This prompts a phone call from McCain, who is in Spain, to confirm that Macho B was captured/collared. I find out when and where he was captured and that it went, “okay.”

5. At some point McCain calls Jack Childs to inform him that Macho B has been captured/collared.

6. At 8:30 AM Kirby Bristow calls his boss on the AZGFD snaring project, Chasa O’Brien, and informs her of the jaguar capture. O’Brien said she responded with, “What? He collared it? What are you doing?” O’Brien said that from the beginning of the snaring project she stated, “No radio collaring any jaguars.” But, after she took the jaguar capture notification up the chain of command she realized, ” The JAGCT had different direction with regards to if a jaguar were captured it should be radio collared.”

7. Terry Johnson is informed by Childs before the JAGCT meeting is about to begin that, “We did it! Got a collar on Macho B.”

8. Johnson opens the JAGCT meeting with the news that a jaguar had been captured, inadvertently, during the course of another AZGFD project. The jaguar’s age was estimated to be 8+ years old.  Either he or Childs tell the meeting that the jaguar has not yet been confirmed to be Macho B. During the meeting McCain leaves Childs and I separate phone messages that Macho B has moved several miles.

9. Smith and Crabb return to Penasco Canyon to take plaster casts of Macho B’s tracks. They also wanted to “check on him” because Smith was concerned about re-narcing and to make sure no one is in the area hunting with hounds. Later they give the capture photos and video to their AZGFD supervisors. It is there they learn the spot patterns of the captured animal match Macho B’s.

10. McCain emails Dr. Aguilar and Dr. Deem about the jaguar capture. “HE DID IT!!!! Yesterday he successfully immobilized and collared an Arizona jaguar!”

11. Bill Van Pelt of AZGFD emails McCain, “How far has he moved since collaring?” And then Van Pelt sends him another email, “What about the tooth? I have not had a chance to talk with Thorry.”

12. McCain responds to Van Pelt’s email, “He looks good. He has traveled several miles over very rough country…I would say he has fully recovered from the immobilization and that he has no damage that would impede his movements in any way. I am a little concerned about long term issues with his tooth. But, there is nothing to be done about that now…” McCain sends Van Pelt another email, “Apparently a top canine was broken. Thorry is not totally sure it was from the capture, but most likely it was. Sounds like he fought hard. He was exhausted.”

13. Van Pelt responds, “Just talked to Thorry. The cat weighed 118 pounds but solid and very robust. Appeared in good physical health and walked away fine…”

14. McCain responds, “You should be cautioned that we are not positive that it is Macho B. It is most likely him, but we can’t be sure just yet. A new point just came in. He is still in the same rocky jumble, just moved a little higher.”

15. Van Pelt responds, “If you can, please give me an update tomorrow on the location, general direction of movement, etc.”

16. AZGFD emails capture photos to Childs and McCain. They confirm the collared jaguar is, “our guy,” Macho B by identifying his “Pinocchio” and “Betty Boop” rosettes.

17. Van Pelt assists in drafting the AZGFD news release about Macho B’s capture. See blog roll for the release.


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