Jaguar seen in area of Cochise, Arizona
The complete article is here.
A hunter photographed an adult male jaguar in Southeast Arizona after his dogs treed it, Arizona Game and Fish Department officials said Monday.
The sighting Saturday in Cochise County was the first confirmed report of a wild jaguar in the United States since the death of Macho B in Arizona in March 2009. It may have been the fifth wild jaguar - all males - seen in Arizona since 1996. The jaguar is listed as an endangered species in the United States and Mexico.
An experienced mountain lion hunter spotted the jaguar Saturday morning about 15 feet up a mesquite tree and reported it to Game and Fish. The hunter was led to the large cat by his dogs, who were baying and starting to pursue the animal as if on the trail of a lion, said Mark Hart, a Game and Fish spokesman.
Officials said the hunter had not given permission to release his name, and the department declined to specify the location.
The last known jaguar in the United States, 15-year-old Macho B, was euthanized in March 2009 at the Phoenix Zoo after he was captured just north of Mexico, radio-collared and recaptured 12 days later after he slowed dramatically. Authorities determined he had unrecoverable kidney failure, but the death led to one state and two federal investigations, including a federal criminal investigation that ended last May. The state investigation is continuing.
Audsley said that assuming this jaguar is healthy enough, authorities should try to capture and radio-collar him, to learn where he actually goes.
“Just because you know where it was when it was photographed, that can be a place where it doesn’t go very often. To really know, you need a collar on him, even with the risks.”
But the department has no plans to try to capture this animal, or to even discuss that possibility, Hart said. The agency drew widespread criticism over the 2009 Macho B capture, which occurred during a state-run study of black bear and mountain lions. They denied playing any role in engineering the Macho B capture. A private biologist who admitted to trying to capture the animal, Emil McCain, was working as a state subcontractor until a few months before the capture occurred.
Before authorities capture another jaguar, they should at least have a blueprint for recovering the species, and explain what they would do with information they would get from collaring another one, said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity.
I’m glad Michael Robinson said that. He’s one of the best-recognized voices in the environmental movement in the Southwest.
I hope they leave this jaguar totally alone, because of what they left out of this story:
Tissue samples from the last known wild jaguar in the United States showed no sign of kidney disease, the diagnosis Phoenix Zoo veterinarians made in deciding to euthanize him.
A pathologist at the UA’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, which reviewed the tissue samples, said authorities may have moved too fast to euthanize the animal early this month. Bloodwork state Game and Fish officials said showed “off the charts” kidney failure could actually have indicated dehydration, said Sharon Dial of the veterinary lab.
The zoo should have kept the animal on intravenous fluids for 24 to 48 hours before euthanizing it, Dial said.
Here’s a link to over 70 articles about the Macho B case. As it says in today’s article, the state investigation is still going on.
UPDATE, November 23rd:
Guide describes roaring, powerful jaguarThere’s more. Read it all here. Here’s a photo from Saturday’s encounter:
The big jaguar snarled, roared and clawed, puncturing wounds in the hunting dogs that surrounded him.
Hunting guide Donnie Fenn told a sometimes harrowing tale of his encounter Saturday with the adult male jaguar in a remote canyon in Cochise County, south of Interstate 10.
“It’s the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me,” said Fenn, who leads hunters to mountain lions with his dogs. “To be honest with you - I got to see it in real life, my daughter got to see it, but I hope never to encounter it again.
“I was nervous, scared, everything. It was just the aggressiveness - the power it had, the snarling. It wasn’t a snarl like a lion. It was a roar. I’ve never heard anything like it.”
Fenn was thrilled as well as scared. He had never expected to see such a large, endangered cat so early in his life, at age 32, he said. A lifelong hunter and Benson resident, he runs the mountain lion guide service as a sideline while working full time in an excavating business. He described his one-hour encounter with the jaguar as “a dream come true.”
He came away respectful of its power, speed and size.
“All my dogs took a pretty good beating. They had puncture wounds. … I got to see it in real life, and I’m glad, but I hope to never encounter it again,” he repeated.
Hunting guide Donnie Fenn took this photo of the jaguar he spotted recently.
COURTESY OF CHASIN’ TAIL GUIDE SERVICE
That’s actually a photo of a photo, because none of the originals have been released.