Stranger Fruit


A few weeks back, I updated you on the story of Macho B, the male jaguar that was captured in southeastern Arizona and subsequently euthanized due to apparent chronic kidney failure. The Arizona Republic is reporting that Sharon Dial, a pathologist at Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, is claiming that the euthanization was premature and that the jaguar was not suffering from renal failure. The initial diagnosis was made from bloodwork and Dial examined the kidneys:

“Nothing is absolute. There is nothing to say that he absolutely would have recovered, but I can say by looking at the kidneys that there is no structural reason why he would not have,” Dial said. “I’ve looked at a lot of cat kidneys, not jaguar kidneys. For a supposed 15-year-old cat, he had damned good looking kidneys.”

Arizona Game and Fish are recommending caution until a further report from a Wisconsin lab and a statement of findings by Linda Munson at UC Davis are issued:

“It is outrageous, unprofessional and speculative of individuals from the Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Lab not leading the case to comment and offer opinions based on very incomplete information,” the statement said. “Those individuals from the vet diagnostic lab had no involvement with the evaluation and treatment of Macho B when he was alive, and so their comments are not valid or appropriate.”

More information will, no doubt, be forthcoming.

Update (04/01): Az G& F have ordered a formal investigation.

Update (04/02): The Arizona Republic is reporting:

A newspaper report shows that an Arizona Game and Fish employee and
a biologist with a jaguar detection group apparently planned to trap
one of the rare cats and that a volunteer spread scent to attract it to
a snare.

Game and Fish has repeatedly characterized the capture as
“inadvertent.” The male cat was euthanized less than two weeks after
its Feb. 18 capture and subsequent release with a tracking collar
fitted, and the case is now being investigated by the Arizona Attorney
General’s Office.

More here.


  1. #1 Jamie Alcumbrac
    March 30, 2009

    I have to say that this back lash is getting a bit ridiculous. My uncle the vet who helped capture Macho B( Ole Alcumbrac) saw the cat and said he was not in the best condition. Emil McCain said it best in his thoughts on the death of Macho B,

    “Macho B has become an international ambassador for jaguar conservation. As we grieve the great cats very unfortunate death, we must not place blame or let it divide us. Macho B has pulled many diverse sources together for a common goal, and Monday we pulled all of our resources together to help him. On his behalf, I urge us all to keep that momentum moving forward, beyond political interests and international boundaries and beyond the lifespan of one individual.”

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