Arizona Intentionally Snared Last Jaguar, Inquiry Finds

Does this mean they deliberately killed the state’s last jaguar?

Arizona Intentionally Snared Last Jaguar, Inquiry Finds. By Leslie Kaufman. New York Times.






  1. mikarooni Avatar

    Thanks, I posted the comment below while you were restructuring things…

    Yes, please put the jaguar article up as a post. It touches on issues that are directly relevant to a wide range of conservation issues.

    First, did AZ Game and Fish deliberately trap this animal to remove it, to blur the question of native range, and thereby to weaken any future legal traction toward protection of the species in the US? I’ve had experience with this agency and, although there are some fine individuals there, the agency has always had its politics and some very bad apples and many of the bad apples tend to be promoted toward the top.

    Second, if AZ Game and Fish wasn’t deliberately seeking to trap “the last jaguar” in America, then this article is a classic illustration of the problem of the taking of nontarget species for which trapping is infamous. Traps cannot recognize their target species and, every year, huge numbers of TES specimens are taken. This take is usually not reported, with the carcasses either destroyed to eliminate the evidence or even just funneled into the black market.

    Third, trappers are quick to argue that their hobby is humane because they responsibly check their traplines often enough to prevent the animal from lingering; this episode raises the question of whether even AZ Game and Fish, much less any “hobby” trapper, really checks those lines often enough to prevent injury or death to target or nontarget species. Yes, this jaguar was old; however, kidney problems are a major, perhaps the primary, direct or contributory cause of death for all species of both canines and felines. Their protein diets place a burden on their blood chemistry and their kidneys are a major and heavily worked link in addressing this situation. Even a mountain lion, supposedly the target species for this trapping excursion, would have been put under stress under these circumstances.

    Finally, this was allegedly “the last jaguar” in America and even the “experts” at AZ Game and Fish couldn’t trap it, check their lines often enough to find it, and then release it without killing it. Do you think there’s a chance that other jaguars have been caught by “hobby” trappers and just dispatched and disposed of without any reporting? In other areas of the country, how many times do you think that something like that has happened to wolves, lynx, or wolverine? Beavers driven almost to extinction by trapping and they were much more plentiful, have much lower habitat requirements, and have much higher reproductive capacity than many of the species that are now on the brink

  2. Tim Avatar

    IMO it was probably the drugging of the animal that caused the kidney failure. Isn’t that why your vet asks if you wanna do blood work on your little buddy before a surgery?

  3. Richie,NJ Avatar

    Just another sign how this administration feels towards wildlife, and trapping I thought that went out over decades ago I guess not what a shame. We could now for sure call America corporate America, again a disgrace to wild America.

  4. Marc Cooke Avatar
    Marc Cooke

    Lets see it for what it is. disease, famine, water shortage and habit are not the major challenges wildlife face. Wildlife Services and Fish and Game leadership is!

  5. mikarooni Avatar

    Tim, the drugs probably contributed to the problem; but, holding any canine or feline, especially one that is older; out in the stress of cold or, worse, heat; and away from a source of water is extremely bad for the animal’s kidneys. I believe we have to come out of denial; traps indiscriminately catch nontarget species, often TES specimens like this jaguar; and many TES specimens, specimens that we can’t afford to lose, are needlessly taken out of the breeding population as a result. The other aspects of this episode, the fact that AZ Game and Fish botched the capture and apparently intentionally did so according to the article, are particularly disturbing; but, it is hard to argue that “hobby’ trapping doesn’t take TES specimens as an unavoidable byproduct of an unnecessary sport as well.

    Yes, the animal was old and near the end anyway; but, if this wasn’t “the last jaguar” out there as AZ Game and Fish is eager to have us believe in order to evade having to deal with species protection requirements, then it could still have contributed through breeding a time or two more and, with TES populations, that would have been important. Imagine if this wasn’t “the last jaguar” out there, but only the last male.

  6. Demarcated Landscapes Avatar


    You raise some interesting points and we agree that the Macho B story highlights some serious issues with trapping. We doubt, however, that the AGFD hoped to get rid of the jaguar completely. Instead, it would seem that having a live jaguar with a GPS collar would have been more important to the agency, for the very reasons you suggest: to perhaps prove that the jaguar used the US habitat secondary to its primary range in Mexico. AGFD and the USFWS had (until recently, under court pressure) objected to designating critical habitat for the jaguar based on on this assertion; having GPS data of this jaguar’s range would have substantiated their claims and let them off the hook for full ESA protections (i.e. critical habitat).

    We also think that the collar was motivated by another thing. To have ultimate knowledge of where the jaguar was would be juicy info for a biologist relying on grant funding and media coverage. After years of trying to find Macho B and other jags with nothing more than cameras, the temptation to watch them from a laptop must have been great. We don’t believe that anyone wanted to kill Macho B, but neglecting the inherent risk of the capture in order to further these goals is problematic.

    The reports suggest that Macho B was healthy at the time of capture and went downhill quickly thereafter. It looks like either the stress of extended time in the snare, the resulting dehydration, the tranquilizer, the swollen paw preventing movement, the broken tooth, and the subcutaneous infection where the tranq. dart went in all contributed to Macho B’s rapid decline fo this old cat. Whatever the IG report has concluded about the intention to trap, the mishandling of the trapping and the subsequent treatment and euthanasia of this cat are reason enough for serious changes within the agencies. And you’re right- Macho B is another reason to ban trapping altogether.

  7. mikarooni Avatar

    I can’t disagree. There are all sorts of possible combinations and permutations here; but, the “take home” points remain the same.

  8. Ron Kearns Avatar
    Ron Kearns

    Grijalva Calls on Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Justice to Address State Shortcomings in Jaguar Death


    The FWS should work with the Department of Justice to take immediate actions against AZGFD for its statutory violations. Fish and Wildlife should suspend all authorization the state agency has to manage jaguars until these issues are corrected. This report makes it quite clear that there continues to be confusion on the part of AZGFD regarding the authorities that they have and do not have under their agreement with the FWS.”

    End Quote}

  9. kt Avatar

    If only Grijalva were Interior Secretary instead of rancher “Sally” …

  10. jdubya Avatar

    Kidney failure from dehydration…..the direct result of neglect on the traps.

  11. Jay Barr Avatar
    Jay Barr

    So does anybody know how long the animal was in the trap? I find it hard to believe it was in there longer than 1 day (at best bios could be expected to check 2x per day), though under the AZ heat maybe 24 hrs. is too long.

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Jay Barr,

    I was in the vicinity at the time. It wasn’t warm, although it warmed up a lot a few days later.

  13. Ron Kearns Avatar
    Ron Kearns

    Jay Barr: “he had been caught in the trap for an unknown amount of time.” That clearly demonstrates the AGFD had no proper capture protocol in place nor an established, consistent trap-checking schedule.

    The following quote is from the OIG Investigative Report, which you should read to understand some of the discrepancies, to date. USFWS Region 2 Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle contradicted USFWS ES Supervisor Steve Spangle’s statement regarding the need for a full ‘autopsy’ (sic) v. a cosmetic necropsy—a necropsy—full or cosmetic—is the correct veterinary term for a postmortem performed on a non-human animal. The criminal investigation is ongoing.

    “When AZGFD researchers initially found Macho B ensnared in a mountain lion and black bear foothold trap on February 18, 2009, he had been caught in the trap for an unknown amount of time.”

  14. cc Avatar

    Thanks very much for the link to the actual report. It is a must read for all concerned.

  15. Ron Kearns Avatar
    Ron Kearns

    The temperatures were likely near freezing during at least part of the time Macho B was snared. There are still many questions that the OIG Investigative Report did not answer and perhaps those are part of the criminal investigatory phase.

    The following is an excerpt of an earlier Arizona Desert Star article:

    Published: 07.07.2009

    Signs of infection seen in jaguar
    By Tony Davis

    To taxidermist Marc Plunkett, the liquid streaming from Macho B’s left hip “looked like a volcano of pus coming out.”
    Plunkett was describing what he saw when he skinned the dead jaguar’s body so the hide could be preserved for future displays. To his eye, the fluids pouring through a three-quarter-inch-sized hole in the hip were clear signs of an infection — an infection that until now had not been publicly reported by any agency involved in the death or investigation of Macho B’s death.

    Plunkett and two outside wildlife medical specialists agreed that such an infection could have been a key to understanding what caused this country’s last known wild jaguar to slow down and ultimately stop moving a week after the Arizona Game and Fish Department captured, radio-collared and released him on Feb. 18 south of Arivaca. The animal, age 15 or 16, was recaptured and euthanized March 2 after Phoenix Zoo veterinarians determined he had incurable kidney failure.

    But Plunkett and other experts disagree as to whether the hole and the eruption of fluid were caused by a natural infection or by the dart that pierced the jaguar’s left rump — a few inches below that hip — with an anesthetic after Game and Fish technicians found the animal in a snare trap.
    The story of the hip infection — which is now being investigated by federal officials conducting a criminal probe of Macho B’s capture and death — underscores the uncertainties created by an Arizona Game and Fish decision made to do a less-than-complete necropsy after the big cat was killed.

    Game and Fish officials made that decision to preserve the jaguar’s hide for educational, scientific or religious display, the department said at the time. But the cosmetic necropsy essentially ruled out in-depth analysis that outside veterinarians said could have helped explain his slowdown.

    Citing the ongoing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s investigation, Arizona Game and Fish officials would not say where Macho B’s remains are or whether a full-scale necropsy was done or could still be done.
    “The federal investigation is expected to include final necropsy results that will provide factual information on the health of Macho B at the time of death and will be useful in answering many of the questions you’ve asked. It’s best to wait for the final necropsy,” Game and Fish said.

  16. mikarooni Avatar

    At this point, I’d like everyone to please stop and think about a couple of things. First, this poor animal was put through what can only be described as several repeated episodes of physical pain, panic/confusion/stress, and downright inhumane treatment before it died; if they had done this to an feral cat in some alley in Phoenix, it would have been felony abuse; and this whole grotesque dark comedy was perpetrated by the trained professionals of the AZ Game and Fish. Yes, read the actual report and imagine what that damned cat went through and how you might have enjoyed that experience. This would have been no way to treat even the common mountain lion that they supposedly intended to treat this way. Now, second, if this is what trapping is like in the hands of trained professionals, imagine what often poorly educated and questionably motivated “hobby” trappers do to thousands of animals, all across the country, every day.

  17. kt Avatar

    mikarooni: I don’t know if I have the stomach to read the report after that disgusting and chilling episode. These wildlife agencies seem to have no controls, or code of ethics or anything else. This includes everything from how they deal with trapping and moving sage-grouse to the wolf horrors – and now this jaguar episode lays it all bare.

  18. Ron Kearns Avatar
    Ron Kearns

    Mikiroonie et al.

    While I share your angst regarding Macho B’s unnecessary death at the hands of supposed professionals and I will agree that there are many unethical trappers who do not check their traps as required by law, I do not share your call to ban all “hobby” trapping.

    I am a former hunter, former Federal law enforcement officer/game warden, and a retired wildlife biologist. Throughout those professional duties spanning 25+ years—and avocationally for over 50 years—I can attest that there have been, and still are, many ethical hunters and trappers who follow the rules, regulations, and laws set forth by State and Federal agencies. I would never want to exclude or deprive those outdoor sportsmen and women from legal, ethical hunting and trapping opportunities.

    Regarding the AGFD and the USFWS, I have spent the past 4 years since my retirement rebuking and refuting the majority of their wildlife management decisions in southwestern Arizona. I have presented irrefutable evidence of both agencies’ staffs falsifications of official documents and false statements regarding artificial water source development in wilderness and mountain lion mismanagement. There is an ongoing lawsuit involving the wilderness violation that is now over 2.5 years old and it may be into the 3rd year before a judgment is rendered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. However, regardless of the agency corruption and mismanagement—as exemplified by the Macho B debacle—we must not also tarnish the hunting and trapping public because of unethical, incompetent State and Federal agency personnel.

    With reference to your comparison of animal cruelty/abuse of domesticated animals v. trapping of wildlife, I understand your concern because I spent most of my military service as a senior veterinary animal specialist. However, I would not want to see trapping and/or hunting criminalized the way domesticated animal abuse has trended. I also understand and appreciate the philosophy and concerns of animal rights advocates who would adamantly disagree with me.

    I will agree with everyone who thinks that there must be serious repercussions for—and changes in—personnel within both the USFWS and the AGFD resulting from Macho B’s death.

    Ron Kearns

  19. foolonthehill Avatar

    Yet another example of how states can’t be trusted to follow the law in managing our wildlife. Having found several live animals in traps, and my dog being caught on more than one occasion in one, I am of the opinion that it is an unethical and cruel way to kill an animal, with prolonged suffering and killing of unintended species. In an ethical society it wouldn’t occur, but no one would ever say we are one of those, or anywhere close.

  20. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    The report leaves out any reference to using female jaguar scat as bait and leaves out information about the trappers carrying a new specially built GPS collar made for a Jaguar. They were trying to catch Macho B.
    Animals that are caught in cable snares often dislocate their shoulders when struggling to escape. Almost all animals caught this way suffer some injuries. These snares should be outlawed for use by research organizations.
    I attented a bighorn sheep meeting in Moab, Utah a few months ago and the biologist presenting the program said that when they were darting bighorns from a helicopter, they were killing 50% of the sheep. Now that they have switched to net guns, they are ONLY killing 4%. We need to quit treating wildlife like domestic stock and leave them the hell alone.

  21. mikarooni Avatar

    Ron Kearns, I also grew up hunting. My father was a well-known shooter and reloader who had access to a very extensive machine shop. He developed early prototypes for cartridges that evolved into today’s high velocity flat shooters. In the summer, we went from shooting range to shooting range across the West where he placed side bets on my ability to out shoot adult competitors. In the fall, we hunted. We hunted with custom rifles that he designed and built to use his latest wildcats and we hunted in the tradition of the one-shot kill. Even the magazines were reworked to allow only one cartridge in the chamber and one in the magazine, in case of a “failure” to pick your shot properly. My father taught me that the best kill would be one where the animal never heard the sound of the shot. Don’t even imagine that he was gentle with me in the event of a botched kill.

    I know how to hunt and shoot and I don’t begrudge a reasonable level of ethical hunting as long as it fits the population dynamics of the game. Trapping is another matter. When I hunt, I know what I’m aiming at; I know where my bullet is going; my goal is to limit the suffering of the animal to seconds, not hours and certainly not days. As I said earlier, traps don’t recognize their intended prey; nontarget species, including a vast array of TES, are trapped, injured, and needlessly wasted on a regular basis. Traps don’t make one-shot kills; even when the trapper is responsible about checking his lines, traps cause prolonged suffering. Finally, why? Why is “hobby” trapping mandatory? Because somebody likes it? Ralph will get squeamish and delete my comment if I go into detail; but, there are lots of things that some people like, lots of things that some men like, that we, as a civilized society, do not tolerate or allow them to do. Why do we have to tolerate “hobby” trappers doing things that juvenile delinquents would be arrested for doing to a kitten in an alley, especially when there are all sorts of studies showing that cruelty to other species is a precursor to violence to humans? Why do I have to accept the risk that some “hobby” trapper is raising kids who are going to grow up to be a danger to my family because he is exposing them to “hobby’ cruelty to animals, as a sport and a means to have “fun,” during their childhood? It just defies common sense.

  22. cc Avatar

    You keep mentioning that alot of non-target TES are killed by recreational trapping I don’t doubt it happens and know of documented kills of bald eagles and lynx in Maine caught in neck snares. But you’ve used the phrases “huge numbers” and “regular basis” and I’m curious if you can provide any supporting evidence?

  23. Ron Kearns Avatar
    Ron Kearns

    Regarding the AGFD’s statement about conducting their own ‘internal investigation’, we all know that such self-examinations whether by law enforcement, the judiciary, or others are unequivocally biased regardless if some ethical people are involved. Human nature yields to protecting those with whom we associate and know the best. By Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 17, “control of the department is vested in the game and fish commission.” The 5-member Arizona Game and Fish Commission is led by an outgoing chairman who is a retired AGFD biologist/LEO. He is a decent man, although I have watched him defend AGFD employees despite clear evidence demonstrating their unethicalness and his following remarks are other examples amongst many.

    Chairman Hernbrode made his comments on March 5, 2009, less than 3-full days after Macho B’s euthanization and over 3 weeks before an Arizona AG and Federal investigation began. In fact, the AGFD and AGF Commission later made this statement in their April 2, 2009 release, “The Department and Commission did not authorize or condone intentional initial capture of this jaguar”. Therefore, Chairman Hernbrode was premature and prejudiced with his March 5th statements that follow and he has demonstrated here and elsewhere that he is incapable of objectiveness when the AGFD is involved.

    Chairman Bob Hernbrode’s statements begin at about video time 24:46. These are excerpts, with the full wording of his complete comments available in the video. I suggest that you watch the full video (42 minutes) to get a full perspective because the principal veterinarian involved in the initial treatment and the necropsy, an AGFD biologist involved in jaguar management, and Steve Spangle all make statements and answer questions from the audience.


    “I want to take the opportunity to say in the strongest possible terms, the wildlife management efforts that have occurred during the 2-plus weeks involving Macho B was absolutely needed and appropriate.

    Critics…have questioned the professionalism and the integrity of the wildlife biologists from the partnering agencies; these critics are wrong, they’re wrong. The credibility, the quality, the competency, the knowledge, and the sincerity of these men and women is second to none…The Arizona Game and Fish Commission salutes them.”

    End Quote}

    Chairman Hernbrode’s statements in the video illustrate that the Department’s investigation will most likely be biased, unfair, and self-serving.

    The full video link follows:

  24. mikarooni Avatar

    cc, your question is naive at best. Sure, I can go through the records and there will be a few recorded instances of trappers actually reporting that they have taken a TES species; but, do you really believe that the majority of trappers run in to report that they have, in effect, “poached” something? Even if they were confident that they would not be prosecuted, the thought of the paperwork alone would persuade them to just “shoot, shovel, and shut up” and forget about any government report.

  25. cc Avatar

    Why don’t you try being convincing instead of condescending? Ofcourse such captures would often go unreported. That doesn’t mean it’s accurate to claim that “huge numbers” of protected species are killed “on a regular basis” by trappers. It does happen and should be brought up in the debate about trapping, but exaggeration is counterproductive.

  26. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    Last year on the internet there was a story about an Indiana trapper that was convicted of dumping over 200 carcasses in a ditch. Trappers that trap for sport or hobby do not care one bit about the species that they kill- it’s a game to them. All the coyotes and foxes that are used in the southern hunting clubs for wildlife penning come from trappers in Indiana and the midwest. I have done research on this sadistic game of penning and the Indiana dept of Nat Resources did an investigation where emails from trappers were used as evidence to try and block interstate shipment of these animals. Needless to say, the conversations from the trappers was horrifying to read, they were so happy to hear of animals being ripped to shreds by dogs. People that want no regulation expect people that care about animals to just sit back and let these sickos abuse wildlife? 200 animals maybe an extreme example, but I agree with mikarooni.

  27. Virginia Avatar

    I might be insinuating my own values into this discussion, but i the two years I have been reading and posting on Ralph’s blog, I have come to understand that this site is mainly about wildlife conservation. When I read the post of Ron Kearns in which he discusses the difference between ethical trapping and unethical trapping, it makes my blood boil. I may not be a biologist, LEO or any of the other above-mentioned professional wildiife personnel, but I cannot fathom anyone making any distinction between ethical and unethical trapping. Trapping in itself is unethical, cruel and disgusting and most people who read this website surely are not impressed with your defending any kind of trapping.

  28. Kropotkin Man Avatar
    Kropotkin Man

    Here’s AG&FD’s Response:

    Arizona Game and Fish responds to IG report on jaguar

    Jan. 22, 2010

    Late yesterday afternoon (Thursday, Jan. 21), the Arizona Game and Fish Department received from the news media a redacted copy of the U.S. Department of Interior Inspector General (IG) report about events related to the jaguar known as Macho B. News stories about the report have appeared in various media outlets.

    The Department would note that the document represents a redacted and therefore incomplete version that gives no useful indication of what additional clarity or context the redacted material might add to the public’s understanding of it. Regardless, the Department has the following comment:

    The Department stands by its previous statements that the Department did not direct any Department employee or any other person associated with the initial capture to intentionally capture a jaguar. Should the outcome of the ongoing Federal criminal or Department administrative investigations demonstrate that individuals employed by the Department acted contrary to the Department’s understanding of the facts or contrary to Department direction, the Department remains committed to its previous assurance that it will take or pursue appropriate action.

    The Department is disappointed that it was at no time contacted during the IG’s investigation or prior to the release of the report. The report provided contains allegations and opinions apparently untested by the IG. Many of those assertions have been previously addressed by the Department and present little or no new information.

    The IG notes that the Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that the Department’s Director requested an independent investigation into the circumstances of the jaguar’s capture, and ultimate euthanization , shortly after that euthanization. The Department continues to fully cooperate with the ongoing Federal investigation and, acting in cooperation with the Service, has conducted its own extensive internal administrative investigation into the matter. The administrative investigation remains ongoing pending final resolution of the Federal investigation.

    The Department notes that the IG apparently ignores the Section 6 authorities conveyed to the state by the Endangered Species Act and further, the IG misunderstands the scope of the Department’s authority under its Section 10(a)(1)(A) permit. The Department disagrees with any assertion in the report that the Department did not have a valid permit.

    As noted by the IG, the full necropsy of the jaguar remains incomplete pending the inclusion of the findings of tests done by several other laboratories. The Department awaits the release of those findings by the Service. Once thoroughly reviewed, final conclusions about the jaguar’s physical condition at the time of its recapture can usefully be made.
    The Department will continue to cooperate fully with the Federal investigation to its completion.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD’s programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Director’s Office, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Director’s Office as listed above.

  29. jerryB Avatar

    I’d like for anyone who defends trapping to spend an hour or two in a room full of trappers, whether it be a hearing on trapping quotas or just a citizens advisory meeting. Chances are, you’d change your mind about supporting this activity.

    Ron Kearns….I don’t know you’re from when you talk about “trap check times”, but I’m from Montana and this state has NO law regarding trap check frequency and very limited rules concerning setbacks. In fact, non-fur-bearing animals (predators) ie coyotes, foxes, skunks etc can be trapped all year and traps can be set in the middle of a hiking trail, along side a road or wherever.
    Also, do you consider it “ethical” to trap species that are so rare(wolverine and fisher), that they are being considered for listing?

  30. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Ron – thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Virginia – you should be more tolerant of other peoples contributions and opinions – grow up.

  31. Si'vet Avatar

    Trapping another area of my expertise. I set my first trap in 1966. We had a skunk getting into our chicken coop through the outside run. I rode my bike to the neighbors (we lived very rural) borrowed a trap I believe a #3 victor. The skunk had burrowed underneath the pole my dad had put down to staple the chiken wire to and acessed the coop through the opening the chickens used to come out of the coop and sun and dust. The trap had a chain with a ring you used to fasten it down so the trapped animal couldn’t run off with the trap. I threaded the chain back through the run wire then took one of the fencing staples and and secured it to the frame pole. I then went into the coop crawled through the run opening and with all my strength set the trap. On inspection, I noticed I had no bait, so I took an egg, layed on my stomach, reached in as far as I could and set the egg in the opening just above the trap, the egg started to roll, I reached back to catch the egg and stuck my middle 3 fingers in the trap. There I was 7:30 in the morning, alone, (my folks gone to work) trapped and no way to pull my hand out of the run or get in the run to free my hand. At 8:30 the mailman rolled down his window to deliver the mail and heard me yelling. Went to school with a sock/bread sack filled with ice wrapped around my hand. Caught the skunk the next day, got sprayed getting him out tof the trap, another story.. My trapping days ended in 1966 I was 2 for 2.

  32. Virginia Avatar

    TWB – your opinion of my lack of tolerance for “ethical or unethical trapping” is of no interest to me. I stand by what I said – like it or not.

  33. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Virginia – your lack of tolerance is not my opinion, it is fact – see your post above. Of course you have no interest – you are intolerant of others – does not bother me, it is a reflection only on you.

  34. jimbob Avatar

    I found the whole incident suspicious because of the facts, but ESPECIALLY because our Arizona Game and Fish Department (much like Wyoming and Idaho) is so beholden and protective of Livestock interests!!! Another good reason they should be science-based and not political arms of government!! That especially makes anything like this look bad. Can’t they see that? Of course, being politically connected all they have to do is DENY, DENY.

  35. jimbob Avatar

    By the way, read the wording of AZ Game and Fish’s response—looks even more suspicious! Yea, they “cooperated” with the investigation: the cat was already dead. They achieved their goal, stated or not. Saved a lot of ranchland in southern arizona from being “listed”>

  36. Layton Avatar

    Jimbob (and others),

    I guess I’m just naive, but WHY would the Ariz. G&F dept. want to trap and kill a critter that could potentially be worth hundreds of thousands if not millions of $$ in grant money to study??

    Just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

  37. Si'vet Avatar

    Ralph, with the links folks provided, I’m able to get a better handle on the Jaguar trapping incident. With reference to discussions you and I have had earlier this month with regards to trapping wolves, I feel this incident shows:
    1. Trapping for bilogical studies endangers not only the target species, but nontargeted species as well. I believe that wolves and nontarget species would be safer and better served through aerial programs, one agenda, one target at a time. With updated SOP’s for safety. I believe a lot of negative opinions and emotions surrounding aerial work, maybe due to the fact, flying is also used for lethal control. as well, which is understandable.
    I also feel that in cat and bear studies in accessable areas, with regards to collaring, using a good houndsman would not only be cost effective but the least stressful and target specific. I have assisted on these projects, they were fairly quick and always went well

  38. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    ++I also feel that in cat and bear studies in accessable areas, with regards to collaring, using a good houndsman would not only be cost effective but the least stressful and target specific.++

    Not sure what you are thinking here, but if hounds are used in areas where wolf density is high, for cat or bear search and capture, it is likely they will suffer the same fate as so many hounds in WI (bear hunting), as well as some locales in the NRM. Wolves, as you know, will, in fact, instinctively kill them. Confrontations may not be avoidable.

  39. Kropotkin Man Avatar
    Kropotkin Man

    This off of the CBD’s site

    For Immediate Release, January 21, 2010

    Contact: Michael Robinson, (575) 534-0360

    Department of Interior Inspector General Finds That Capture of
    Endangered Jaguar “Macho B” Was Intentional

    Setting Snare Violated the Endangered Species Act

    TUCSON, Ariz.— Today the Interior Department’s Inspector General office released a report concluding that the last known wild jaguar in the United States, dubbed “Macho B,” who was captured and killed last year in Arizona, had been intentionally caught by employees of the Arizona Game and Fish Department in a snare. This directly contradicts statements by the department at the time and implies criminal behavior.

    The government’s investigative report also found that the Arizona Game and Fish Department did not have a permit allowing it to purposefully capture a jaguar, which is a federally protected endangered species, nor a permit allowing it to incidentally capture a jaguar while conducting other activities. The state agency had said the jaguar was accidentally caught in a snare set for black bears and mountain lions.

    “This report affirms all of the legal claims in our litigation to prevent Arizona Game and Fish from killing another jaguar, and will be critical evidence at trial,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, referring to a September 24, 2009 Center lawsuit, yet to be adjudicated, against the department to prevent the state agency from killing any additional jaguars. The Center’s suit cites the death of Macho B.

    The Inspector General report links “an AZGFD subcontractor and possibly an AZGFD employee to criminal wrongdoing in the capture of Macho B.”

    “This report makes our very strong case even stronger because it confirms the violations,” Robinson said. “Arizona Game and Fish still maintains that it has the right to capture another jaguar, but the judge will read that the conduct the agency defends has already been found to be illegal.”

    The Inspector General report also contradicts other statements made by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, including that the jaguar sustained no injuries at his first capture on February 18, 2009. The report found that a canine tooth was broken off while the animal was in the snare, not prior to the snaring as the department had claimed.

    Macho B was recaptured on March 2, 2009 in ill health and euthanized. The Inspector General report states that a “cosmetic” necropsy of the jaguar that was intended to preserve the pelt, undertaken instead of a full necropsy, resulted in loss of information and thus “leaving doubt as to the cause of death.” It identifies the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Arizona state office field supervisor, Steve Spangle, as having wrongly approved the skinning of the cat because he was unfamiliar with the word “necropsy,” which means “autopsy” but generally refers to the postmortem examination of an animal’s body and not a human’s.

  40. Si'vet Avatar

    WM, your absolutely right, have seen the aftermath of the hound/wolf get together. Should have clarified more, areas of accesability, and where feasable, there are many parts, especially in Arizona, Utah, NM. Colo. etc. Where bear and lion studies continue,1 bait, 1 camera, a biolgist, houdsman, and flunky/trailbreaker/dogwalker, 4 hrs. later jobs done all is well. I think Mach B would still be out there looking for a girlfriend if AZ. would have used this type of system.

  41. jimbob Avatar

    Layton, think livestock interests and land that would be removed from grazing, agriculture, and mining. The dollars for research would be chump change…..

  42. Tim Wilson Avatar
    Tim Wilson

    From the official report:
    I am trying to find out who this employee is. I think the description of the AZGF dept summarizes my experience with them.

    The IG reports that it found “no evidence to suggest criminal involvement” by federal employees. But the picture it paints of the US Fish and Wildlife Service is distinctly unflattering. The lead FWS biologist on a local jaguar project knew of the overlapping mountain lion capture and jaguar photography projects, and had expressed concern about the possibility of a jaguar capture. But when AZGFD stonewalled him, the FWS biologist meekly shut up. He did not tell his superiors, nor did he review Arizona’s permit until after the death of Macho B. He told the IG investigators that he was “intimidated” by AZGFD’s “attitude that [it] could do whatever it wanted in Arizona.”
    The IG also found that the FWS field supervisor, who authorized the euthanization of Macho B and treatment of his remains, did not know what a necropsy was or what procedures should be used to preserve tissues for subsequent testing. Nor did he bother to find out before authorizing a procedure that made it impossible to get useful information from some of the cat’s organs.
    The report does not consider the larger issues raised by this incident. But it reinforces the picture that emerged last year of an arrogant but ill-informed state agency operating with little or no oversight by a much less arrogant but similarly ill-informed FWS.


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Ralph Maughan