Home > Carnivores > The tale of Macho B comes to an end

The tale of Macho B comes to an end

May 17, 2010

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In the past, I have posted on the status of jaguars here in the Southwest borderlands and have highlighted the case of “Macho B”, a 16 year old male captured, tagged and (eventually) euthanized last year. On Friday, Emil McCain, a biologist for the Borderlands Jaguar Detection Project (website defunct), pled guilty to intentionally trapping the specimen in violation of the Endangered Species Act. It appears that McCain has previously trapped jaguars in operations that resulted in at least three deaths and previously admitted a lack of training in handling the species. Today, charges were also filed against a technician, Janay Brun.

Further information is here and here.

Update: I’ve just reread the following statement by McCain which he made in April 2009:

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.

“Unfortunate” in the sense of perhaps caused by McCain’s illegal handling of the animal. It is no wonder he did not want blame to be placed.

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  1. May 18, 2010 at 9:50 am

    His punishment, “five years’ probation and fined $1,000″, seems far far too small for the magnitude of what he did.

    Even if his intentions were good and just misguided I think the punishment should have been much more severe. I feel he should be banned for life from working with wild species and more like $10,000 fine.

  2. May 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Paul Hutch :

    Even if his intentions were good and just misguided I think the punishment should have been much more severe. I feel he should be banned for life from working with wild species and more like $10,000 fine.

    I have to agree, though I doubt he will be employable in the field no matter what.

    From here it appears that the maximum punishment is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

  3. May 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I hope that he will not be employable in wildlife biology in the future. I don’t know how many Jaguars he has captured, but 3 or 4 capture related deaths would seem to indicate some level of incompetence in administering and monitoring anesthesia. I know it is common for wildlife biologists to anesthetize wildlife without veterinary assistance, but it seems that it would be worthwhile to have a veterinarian on hand when working with such a rare species. Of course, they were already breaking regulations and lying about trying to capture the jaguar in the first place, so doing the right thing was obviously not foremost in their minds.

  4. May 18, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    DVMKurmes :

    I know it is common for wildlife biologists to anesthetize wildlife without veterinary assistance, but it seems that it would be worthwhile to have a veterinarian on hand when working with such a rare species.

    Agreed. Back in Ireland we always had a vet present even when darting common deer.

  5. May 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    “I know what I’m doing, I’m an expert.”

    The cry of the common Authority Figure Authoritatis assumptive.

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