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Jaguar recaptured, then euthanized at Phoenix Zoo

Citizen Staff Writer



The first jaguar to be captured, collared and released in Arizona was recaptured Monday and transported to the Phoenix Zoo, where it was euthanized.

Veterinarians determined the cat was in severe and unrecoverable kidney failure.

The 118-pound jaguar, Macho B, was first captured in southern Arizona on Feb. 18 by the department and fitted with a satellite-tracking collar to provide information on the animal’s location every three hours.

The collar, which weighs less than 2 pounds and was less than 2 percent of Macho B’s body weight, wasn’t expected to interfere with its movement or ability to hunt, a news release from the Arizona Game & Fish Department said.

Although early data from the days following its initial capture showed that the jaguar was healthy and had traveled more than three miles, recent data revealed a “reduced pattern of movement and foraging over the past three days,” the release said.

“While he was still moving around, we noticed a decreased level of activity over the weekend that warranted further investigation,” said Bill Van Pelt, the department’s birds and mammals program manager and a member of the Jaguar Conservation Team.

The department deployed a field team on Sunday to locate the jaguar and assess its condition. A first attempt to catch the jaguar was unsuccessful. The second attempt, on Monday, was successful.

The jaguar was believed by biologists to be 15 or 16 years old and the oldest known jaguar in the wild.

Department officials also believe it to be the same jaguar that has been photographed in Arizona for about 13 years.

The need to euthanize the animal was an “unfortunate and disappointing situation,” said Gary Hovatter, deputy director of Game & Fish.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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