The first wild jaguar to be captured and fitted with a radio-collar in the United States — and the only jaguar known to be living here — was killed in Phoenix, Arizona, Monday night. The jaguar, called “Macho B,” was accidentally captured in an Arizona Game and Fish Department wire snare on February 18 and was recaptured and euthanized Monday, March 2 after he was found to be suffering from kidney failure.
This is a terrible setback for the fragile population of northern jaguars that once ranged from the San Francisco Bay area to the Appalachian Mountains and now are so rare that only four have been photographed in the United States since 1996. Macho B was the oldest known jaguar in the wild, at an estimated 15 to 16 years. It is not known whether he had a mate or offspring; the last known female jaguar in the United States was shot by the federal government in 1963.
Dr. Dean Rice, the expert veterinarian who performed Macho B’s autopsy, already confirmed our worst fears — the capture and sedation of Macho B did contribute to his untimely death.
Now, more than ever, any surviving jaguars need your immediate help to protect and recover them in the hidden canyons and cliff-fortified forests of their southwestern U.S. home, and to ensure that the border wall doesn’t forever keep their kind at bay.
Tell the Obama administration to stop permitting the risky capture of jaguars until and unless a long-denied recovery plan is developed that recommends capture and specifies how to do it with the least danger to the jaguar.
The new Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, must rescind and reverse the Bush Administration’s formal decision never to recover jaguars and not to protect a single square foot of their critical habitat.
Write a letter now so that Macho B will be the last wild American jaguar to die at human hands – whether on a cold metal veterinary table or as the victim of a snare or a gun in the wild.