Whistling for the Jaguar

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

Day 9: February 26

1. I email McCain that parts for BJDP’s ATV have come in and it will be worked on the following week. McCain replies: “Great! So, I hear you will be picking up the shit soon. Lets keep it our (sic) of Macho B’s way for right now…”

The shit McCain was referring to is jaguar scat. The following day I was supposed to travel to Sonoita and pick up jaguar scat from McCain’s house and check out the puma’s kill sites. I didn’t. Instead, I hiked to the entrance of the canyon where Macho B was and left him steaks on a sunlit rock above the canyon floor (so he could eat in peace if he found them and not be disturbed by drug smugglers who used the canyon as one of their travel routes).

2. McCain emails Vanpelt, Johnson, and a whole string of redacted recipients: “Hello All, Again today there has not been much action from Macho B. He has been held up again in the same spot for the last 24 hrs. There were several locations that were not received, which means he was likely in a cave or under an overhang. It did appear as though he did go dwon (sic) by the creek.”

Macho B was actually in the same area he had been in since day 2 for a total of 168 hours, not 24. The above email was the only one from this day regarding Macho B. I imagine phone calls were being made instead.

Now, what AZGFD was telling the public.

From Feb. 19 AZGFD press release:

” The male cat was incidentally captured yesterday in an area southwest of Tucson during a research study aimed at monitoring habitat connectivity for mountain lions and black bears. While individual jaguars have been photographed sporadically in the borderland area of the state over the past years, the area where this animal was captured was outside of the area where the last known jaguar photograph was taken in January. ”

The distance between the camera site where Macho B’s photo was picked up on Feb. 4 (the day the snares were activated) and the snare that captured him is about two miles. Both locations were in the same mountain complex. The fact that Macho B’s tracks were found on the trap line where he was eventually snared was left out. In addition, there is nothing “incidental” about placing snares, which indiscriminately catch any animal that walks through, in known jaguar habitat, in an area where Macho B had recently been detected through photos and track identification, and where an additional snare was built and activated by the detected jaguar tracks. That is targeting Macho B for capture, not “incidentally” catching him.

From Feb. 26 AZGFD press release:

“Every indication is that Macho B is doing well and has recovered from his capture and collaring,” says Terry Johnson, endangered species coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.”

Macho B has barely moved in 7 days. Though McCain consulted with Thompson about his concerns regarding Macho B, for some reason he didn’t consult a vet with regard to the re-narcing concern of Telazol or just with Macho B’s overall behavior post-immobilization. He had consulted with two highly respected vets pre-capture, yet didn’t seek their expertise post-capture.  There is also no indication that anyone at AZGFD contacted a vet.

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