Permit for jaguar's capture questioned

Documents and e-mails suggest state may have lacked authority to take cat

Macho B after being collared
Macho B after being collared

Could the capture and subsequent death of the only wild jaguar in the U.S. by Arizona Game and Fish have been illegal?

Permit for jaguar’s capture questioned





  1. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    The plot just keeps thickening in this case!

  2. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    This photo is worth a thousand words. An “Accidentally” captured Jaguar by a “biologist” who just “happened” to have a GPS radio collar specifically made for a jaguar on hand? (He had just sent an e-mail to the manufacturer of the collar thanking him for the “Jaguar GPS collar”.)
    He said he was trying to catch bears and cougars, but was using “female jaguar feces from the Phoenix Zoo” for bait? Why should it be surprising that he didn’t have a federal permit to catch and collar an endangered jaguar? This guy is a prime example of what is wrong with ego-driven abusive wildlife research today.
    There are other photos on the net that he took of the jaguar while it was held by its’ horribly swollen foot in a cable snare (They are for sale) . How was this cat supposed to catch prey with his injured foot and handicapped by this monstrosity of a collar? No wonder he was found dying of stress- induced kidney failure 12 days later and “euthenized”. The bears and cougars that the “biologist” said he was “trying” to capture with the cable snare shouldn’t be mis-treated this way either. Jail Him!

  3. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Larry, I think I have to agree with you on this one. I haven’t seen the pictures of the swollen foot.

  4. chris Avatar

    Why bother with objective, professional investigations when Larry has it all figured out? A properly applied radio collar in no way prevents a predator from hunting but an animal trapped in a snare or padded leg-hold trap will indeed have a sore paw for a day or two. Is the photo of the alleged “swollen paw” the same one found on AZGFD’s photo gallery of the capture? If so don’t pretend you know that’s the same paw that was trapped or have the ability to determine from an internet photo how a jaguar’s paw should or should not look.

  5. Ron Kearns Avatar
    Ron Kearns

    The current corrupt and inept ‘leadership’ of the Arizona Game and Fish Department by Director Larry Voyles and his one-time Yuma, AZ Region IV Information and Education person—miraculously hired during an emphatic State hiring freeze—now transformed into his Deputy Director Gary Hovatter, fosters this type of cover-up and the unfortunate results.

    Voyles and Hovatter both have been principal parties in the GPS collaring and then tracking down and shooting of 2 Kofa National Wildlife Refuge mountain lions in depredation order killings contrary to the scientific ethics instituted with the original lion natural history research I initiated in January 2004 and continued until my retirement in January 2006. The AGFD is clearly and illogically anti-predator. It seems a requirement that to work for any State *Game* and Fish Department, a person must mentally pledge an oath against all predators that might consume any game species—that about covers them all.

    There is also a pending appellate lawsuit regarding the AGFD/USFWS’ installation of 2 artificial wildlife waters in wilderness constructed without proper public notice through the NEPA process. The irrational excuse that the AGFD/FWS used to avoid telling the public of the new tanks’ construction what that there was a “dangerous individual” afoot that might harm the workers—some of them law enforcement officers with firearms—if that person knew they were installing new artificial water sources in wilderness. In a bizarre display of nonsensical paranoia as illustrated in photos from the lawsuit, a fully armed USFWS officer “stood guard” over the workers, some themselves officers, while the group constructed the new McPherson Tank in wilderness. That dangerous individual never materialized out of thin air and yet to date, the AGFD/FWS continue to avoid the NEPA process and violate the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the Arizona Desert Wilderness Act of 1990.

    As we have seen in all Federal and State governments and politics, corrupt leadership filters down to the field level. I have seen a dramatic decline in scientific and individual integrity within the USFWS and the AGFD since my first job in 1978 with the FWS—where I worked collaboratively with AGFD employees—until 2006. The dramatic decline stated in 2000. It is especially rampant today, since FWS employees collude with State employees in the usurpation of Federal mandates to favor State mandates and support local game management practices at the detrimental expense of wildlife biodiversity.

  6. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    I didn’t figure it out. I was in Arizona, close to the capture site when Macho B was snared and I read the local news and AFGD reports as they came out. I simply read the various reports and summarized what was there. The bioaide was the one who said she was instructed to use the female jaguar feces as bait by the biologist under investigation and that they had been using Jaguar feces from the Phoenix Zoo for some time in order to get motion activated camera shots of the same jaguar.
    The photo I saw was of the jaguar with his foot IN the snare and it was grossly swollen. It was not the photo of the bottom of his foot that AGFD published. Someone is selling these jaguar photos on the internet. I don’t know if it the biologist or his agent. I read a reference in Arizona of the possibility that this same biologist was selling photos he had previously obtained with the motion-detector cameras.
    The collar I see in this photo is abusive no matter how you rationalize it. The cat I see in this photo looks very healthy and would have been alive today if he had not been snared and collared. When the radio signal from the collar indicated that Macho B was not moving normally twelve days after being snared, he was run to exhaustion by helicopter and darted a second time and then executed by lethal injection(Euthanized).

  7. chris Avatar

    Thanks for your reply. We will have to agree to disagree on the issues of radio-collars and capturing wildlife for now. But I suspect in the end the investigations will reach similar conclusions as yours, that many mistakes were made. But if you think any radio-collar is abusive than you’re predisposed to assume the worst and believe all the claims supporting misconduct and ignore any counterpoints. For example, the jaguar is alleged to have been euthanized due to advanced kidney failure and there is debate about whether this was the natural problem of an older cat or if the condition was caused by or aggravated by the capture. You say the jaguar looks very healthy in the photo. So tell me, how do the jaguar’s kidneys look in that photo?

  8. jdubya Avatar

    “”So tell me, how do the jaguar’s kidneys look in that photo?”

    Duh, you obviously tell from the petechial hemorrhages in the whites of the eye that the animal has hypercellular glomeruli with matrix expansion and formation of extracapillary proliferates.

  9. otto Avatar

    Nothing about this particular collaring seems to be professional or objective as well documented by Larry and Ron. Why do you continue to defend it? Your predispostion is glaring.
    You claim the kidney failure is the primary cause of the jaguar’s death, not having its paw mangled in the trap as reported by Larry. Do you have evidence to back up your medical assessment of the jaguar’s kidney functions? Given the completely untrustworthy actions of AGFD in this case so far why should any rationale person trust their assessment of the cause?

    Please grow up. This conversation has remained fairly civil and informative before you joined.

  10. chris Avatar

    My predisposition is glaring? That’s rich. Nearly everyone on this site has found the biologists guilty from day one and implied that all biologists are corrupt idiots and that radio-collaring is a crime against nature. I’ve been trying to be objective but even so I clearly stated in my last post that I agree it is likely that mistakes will be confirmed by the investigation. What bothers me is the anti-radio collar crowd believing any claim that furthers their cause and ignoring any evidence to the contrary. There is absolutely no evidence to support your claim that the “mangled paw” killed the jaguar and not even Larry has ruled that the cause of death. Veterinarians determined the jaguar had advance kidney failure and that is why they euthanized it. One of the issues that will hopefully be resolved by the investigation is whether the capture, the drug used in particular, caused the kidney failure.

  11. Ron Kearns Avatar
    Ron Kearns

    More coverage on jaguars at the link (jaguar abuse) in the blogspot article above which includes June 14, 2009 links in the Arizona Star entitled:

    ‘AZ wanted a jaguar collared despite 2 deaths in Sonora’

    and then from that page, a related article entitled:

    ‘Four jaguar captures, three deaths’


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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