Demarcated Landscapes has this post concerning the death of an Arizona jaguar that was recently collared in an effort to track its movement.

They killed “euthanized” Macho BDL

This is a particularly saddening loss – there have been only 4 jaguars known to have visited north of the border in recent years. Macho B was the most frequently seen, visiting annually since at least 1996 and he was the only jaguar known to visit this year. One of the 4 was killed in Mexico. With the border wall advancing, the sunset on jaguar inhabitation of America becomes more and more evident.

Update: Arizona jaguar’s death probably hastened by capture, zoo veterinarian saysLA Times

Update: Press Conference on Macho B’s Untimely Death

Information on Macho B

Thanks to Ron Kearns for pointing this video and information out

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Brian Ertz

26 Responses to Collared Arizona jaguar dies of kidney failure

  1. A few years ago, when AZ Game and Fish Department proposed collaring this critter, the outcry was sufficient to stop it. One of the people heavily involved in the jaguar research had already been present at a jaguar death during capture, and given that Macho B was one of only 4 known to be venturing this far north, the risk was considered too great to chance his death. Two weeks ago, the AZGFD “accidentally” caught Macho B in a snare, threw that collar on him, and now he’s dead.

    We’re sure there are some very good people working in the wildlife management agencies who are very sad about all of this, but really, folks: Do we need to manage everything to death?

  2. kt says:

    This is just so sad.

    They just can’t stand to let a wild animal be wild.

  3. Mike says:


  4. Laura says:

    The collar was on in a way that prohibited fluid intake? That is what I am coming up with to make the correlation-please educate me if I am off-base. Seems like that would be a basic consideration in collaring any animal.

  5. jimbob says:

    How long was it in the snare without fluids? What a stupid way to catch a wild animal. No stress on them there…..

  6. DL says:

    Apparently not, KT.

    Laura, it is more likely that the sedative somehow disrupted Macho B’s blood pressure regulation and either triggered or exacerbated kidney distress/disease. Unlikely that the collar deprived him of water, but anything is possible. Just watch, though, as the AZGFD tries to spin it like he was old and sick- when just last week he was old and strong.

  7. Jon Way says:

    don’t quote me, but it was probably more of a reaction to the sedative used rather than a collar-effect. Certainly if it was dehydrated, that wouldn’t help…

  8. swjags says:

    Whoa, folks, none of us knows what really happened here. Obviously sedating and handling a 16 year old wild animal isn’t ideal and the stress no doubt contributed to his condiiton worsening. But until there are some lab results and a necropsy I think using words like “killed” imply a level of malevolence and disdain that I haven’t come across in the jaguar conservation world.

  9. Doug says:

    It would be interesting to know if they used Telazol to immobilize him. The Jaguar Health Manual seems to recommend its use. I know that there was a fair amount of controversy over the use of Telazol on tigers in Bangladesh after two died not long after being immobilized with Telazol.
    The article below quotes a spokesman for the drug’s manufacturer who says that no safety studies on tigers had been performed and that the drug was solely for use on domesticated cats and dogs. I wonder if they performed safety studies on jaguars.

  10. chris c. says:

    Considering that we don’t know all the facts yet and that kidney failure is common in older cats (this cat was very old) it would be prudent to wait for more info before using it to further anti-collar sentiments.

    If anyone’s interested, there is a great article in the March National Geographic about conserving corridors for jaguars south of the border.

    “The jaguar is the only large, wide-ranging carnivore in the world with no subspecies. Simply put, this means that for millennia jaguars have been mingling their genes throughout their entire range, so that individuals in northern Mexico are identical to those in southern Brazil. For that to be true, some of the cats must wander regularly and widely between populations.”

    Path of the Jaguar, Mel White, National Geographic March 2009

  11. Laura says:

    Doug’s question about the Telazol may be relevant-
    TELAZOL is excreted predominantly by the kidneys.

    Typically older kidneys don’t function as well as younger ones so there are likely multiple factors involved.

    Disheartening for any reason, however.

  12. casey says:

    There’s too much success of these capturing methods to discount them immediately. Snaring can be done very effectively and safely to capture an animal-
    I am deeply saddened by this… and, this is a tough predicament. Fences, road ways and developments (including those like solar and wind farms) go up with astonishing speed, rolling over pleas suggesting that the proposed areas are viable habitat. Why? Lack of solid data.
    I want big cats in NA. And with the rate of fragmentation thats occurring, it looks grim for them (and almost everything else)- Conducting connectivity research has allowed me to see that a collar on a cat has incredible implications- it provides powerful evidence for conservation that is otherwise not there. Plain and simple.

    Our policy for development and land use isn’t going to change as quickly as it needs to- this is a very effective way to save cats in the long haul.

  13. Brent says:

    Very unfortunate. THis may have gone a long way to conserving the northern population.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    This is a horrible outcome for Macho B. However, I do believe the people involved had good intentions of gathering data in order to argue for Protection of potential north american jaguar range and AGAINST a border fence. Without solid data of where these animals travel in the US there can no argument made to help save their territories.

  15. Matt says:

    Bummer, lets hope some more make it across and breed.

  16. Ron Kearns says:

    Update from CBD newsletter:

    {Quote: “Just minutes ago, Dr. Dean Rice, the expert veterinarian who performed Macho B’s autopsy, confirmed our worst fears — the bungled capture and sedation of Macho B did contribute to his untimely death. The Center for Biological Diversity knows that now, more than ever, a recovery plan and protection for critical habitat is essential to the survival of the jaguar.” End Quote}

  17. Ryan says:

    What are the chances of getting jaguars reintroduced, How do they cope with cougars in there landscape. Can they cohabitate a range or are they exclusive of each other?

  18. Jay says:

    Jaguars tend to dominate over cougars. In S. America, where they have areas with 3 different felids (jaguars, cougars, and ocelot), the two opposite size spectrums (jaguars and ocelots) get along pretty well due to the fact they’re not directly competing for food, whereas the two more closely sized cats (jaguars and cougars) do tend to compete for prey, and the cougar is the loser against a jaguar.

  19. JB says:

    On the questions of reintroduction….

    Reintroduction is extremely unlikely under the Solicitor’s (for DOI) new interpretation of the “significant portion of its range” phrase in the ESA. Based on this interpretation, a species/subspecies/population can only be threatened or endangered where it currently exists, where its been exterminated it is considered “extinct” and not entitled to ESA protections.

  20. TC says:

    First of all, Dr. Dean Rice is no expert on performing necropsies or interpreting gross findings in wildlife – not a wildlife veterinary pathologist by any stretch of the imagination – probably just a good clinician with some necropsy experience. Second of all, gross findings that would support capture or chemical immobilization as a contributor to morbidity/mortality have not been released, and short of lesions to suggest significant trauma, exertional myopathy, hyperthermia, aspiration pneumonia, or other not uncommon complications there is no way (using gross observations) to put blame on any immobilization agent. Until histopathology is completed by a competent board-certified wildlife pathologist it is very premature to condemn either the capture method (snares are used routinely, safely, and successfully for captures of many large predators, including big cats and bears) or the choice of immobilization agent (Telazol has been used in a variety of large predators very safely and very successfully for years – again, including large cats and bears, among others). Just to clarify – Telazol is not a sedative (and you would not want to be handling a “sedated” jaguar!), it’s a combination of a dissociative anesthetic and a tranquilizer, and yes, like many immobilization/anesthetic agents the primary route of excretion is renal – although the major worry when using it with patients with impaired renal function is immobilization/anesthesia of prolonged duration, not further damage to the kidneys themselves directly. Let a competent pathologist determine what really happened, and I’m betting it’s going to be chronic renal failure that nobody could have done anything about in the first place. Big cats just are not built to live 15 years, chronic renal disease and ultimately renal failure (due to a variety of causes) are quite common in geriatric cats of all sizes, and clearly he had a good run so euthanasia perhaps was not the worst outcome imaginable. My two cents worth.

  21. swjags says:

    Well stated, TC!

  22. If the true number of wild animals killed by idiot researchers were known, we would probably ban the use of drugs and radio collars on any wild animals. I am here in Arizona and there are many wildlife watchers upset ubout this jaguars death. If a hunter had killed this animal we would be sceaming for his head, but because it is”research”, the idiots that killed him get a pass. I think they should all be fired and prosecuted.
    I am hearing stories about wolves being overdosed and killed by researchers in Denali last year. Does anyone have any information about this?

  23. chris c. says:

    Nobody killed the cat. Kidney failure is common in older cats and the cat was euthanized to alleviate a miserable death. Those are the facts. Blood samples should have been taken during the initial capture and they should reveal whether it was a pre-existing condition or not. Patience is a virtue; possess it if you can…

  24. Ron Kearns says:

    Arizona Jaguar News Conference Video

    The video is 42 minutes.

  25. Ron Kearns says:

    Abundant information on an AGFD website page dedicated to this jaguar, posted today, the 16th:

    Thanks Ron – I’ve included the link as an update to the post above ~ Brian Ertz

  26. Ron Kearns says:

    Thank you Brian. This is an exceptionally informative and fast moving blog.


March 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey