Whistling for the Jaguar

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

Day 13: Act 2: Sidelines

McCain emails Dr. Aguilar: ” Oley (sic) thinks he has septicemia (SP) from the dart wound from the original capture. He thinks this is a salvageable cat…”

Aguilar responds: “Fantastic. Lets hope they treat him, fix his teeth (good chance to do so) and get him back out stat…”

Gary Hovatter receives an email from some redacted AZGFD person: “… redacted has significant concerns about the quality of the serum (the blood was fairly hemolyzed probably due at least in part to freezing) and the potential of receiving values that are inaccurate due to effects of the hemolysis. However, redacted at the Phoenix Zoo requested that despite the hemolysis we run the Chem 20 panel. The sample will be sent to a lab in Phoenix… and we are expecting to receive results tomorrow morning… There has also been a question raised as to whether the jaguar may be experiencing side effects from slow metabolization of the tiletamine in the tileamine HCI/zolazapam HCI mixture that is telazol. Such issues have been observed in other large cats (e.g. tigers and African lions). (A side note here; tigers, African lions, leopards and jaguars are the four cats that make up the genus, Panthera, in the Felidae family) Metabolization can be particularly slow in older animals and those with any renal problems. Side effects include hallucinations and a dissociative state which could affect an animal’s movements and should disappear as the animal finishes metabolizing the drug. However, unless the side effects have prevented the animal from eating, this would not explain the potential extreme weight loss that was indicated… (another side note: Macho B’s upper left canine was broken to the root, exposing nerve endings and probably prevented him from killing/eating) I also spoke with redacted of Safe Capture International Inc. whom redacted recommended that we talk to about this same issue…”

Dr. Aguilar emails Dr. Deem: ” Things in AZ got hot and heavy with Macho B… The animal appeared extremely “wobbly” and allowed them to approach. Ole tried darting him, but the dart bounced out and the cat got away. Today they went in early, and loaded for bear… Apparently he was successfully caught and is being transported to the Phoenix Zoo as I write this. There was a lot of second guessing about the use of Telazol in an old animal (personally I have found it perfectly safe, but you know what is out there in tigers and lions). Anyhow, last report is that he may be septic from the original darting. He has a broken canine and several broken or missing molars… I have seen adverse reaction to Telazol in Asian lions and tigers (Sumatrans-bad). This is an isolated population of jaguars (about 80 strong) (side note: This is complete conjecture on Dr. Aguilar’s part. There is no documentation, that I am aware of, to support this claim.) that may be inbred. No telling. We know nothing about them. Have you ever seen the effect of a drug (any except for the long acting tranquilizers) go over 96 hours? The other vets have me questioning myself. Of Course, they make it sound like we messed up, but the animal was an incidental catch from another study, and we simply gave them a “what if” dose and approach. The animal sounds weak and exhausted, but not neurologic. Of course that is fifth hand. I will let you know as things progress. I would appreciate your input with the Telazol issue…”

I receive a phone message from McCain that Macho B has been recaptured by AZGFD and is being transported to the Phoenix Zoo for a medical evaluation.


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