I am greatly saddened by the second loss to the feline community in such a short span of time. It was not my original intention to report on the death of a jaguar, but nature has a way of doing whatever the heck it feels like.
A jaguar was captured near Tucson, Arizona yesterday. The big cat had been previously outfitted with a small, unobtrusive satellite-tracking collar:
Officials became concerned when the jaguar cut way back on his daily wanderings. Concerned, the officials transported jaguar to the Phoenix Zoo, where he was pronounced “alive” by a wildlife veterinarian.
Later yesterday the vet had to euthanize the jaguar. He was suffering from kidney failure, something his years of heavy drinking no doubt had a major factor in. I am positive it had nothing to do with the large metal collar clasped tightly around his neck. No age or living relatives were reported. This jaguar will be missed.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, the only news outlet brave enough to report on this elusive creature, jaguars generally live in South and Central America. They used to travel north, from Arizona and Colorado all the way up to the San Francisco Bay area. Those days ended when the United States government encouraged ranchers to shoot any and all jaguars. More recently it has been unheard of to spot a real, live jaguar in the States. Until now.
For an animal to travel from Mexico to Tucson undetected is quite a feat. Though details are not forthcoming, it is has been speculated that the jaguar was acting as “coyote”: running illegal immigrants into the United States. Either that or he was merely roaming his natural territory in search of food and a mate. It will never be known what the jaguar was thinking in the days before his untimely death.
Falling Rock applauds the courageous jaguar. We extend our sympathies to his family and to jaguars everywhere. If heroism is doing exactly what you want, when you want it, then jaguar is a true hero of our time. I hope his journey, from somewhere in Mexico to the Tucson mountains to the Phoenix Zoo, shines as a beacon of hope (or, Hope Beacon) to other jaguars. This land is your land, jaguars. Long may you run.