Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cool Cats...

March 3, 2009—The first wild jaguar to be caught in the U.S. was recaptured just a few weeks later on Monday and put to sleep the same day, wildlife officials said.

The jaguar, named Macho B, was caught accidentally on February 18 during a research study on black bears and cougars.

Biologists fitted the cat with a satellite-tracking collar (above, Macho B recovers from anesthesia in February) and released him in the same area, southwest of Tucson, Arizona.

Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists following the cat's movements noticed that Macho B had become lethargic in recent days.

The scientists recaptured the predator Monday and ran tests at the Phoenix Zoo that revealed "severe and unrecoverable" kidney failure—a common ailment in older cats.
I posted this because...well...I found it kind of cool that they caught a Jag in the US. I'm sorry to hear that it was ailing and was required to be put down.

Related, however, is what I saw in my rather expansive front yard not too long ago. I noticed a blur of movement out of the corner of my eye just as something bolted into a copse of pine trees about fifty yards away (told you it was expansive). I watched and waited for a moment to see if anything would emerge.

Sure animal about the size of a medium to large sized dog shot out the other side moving with remarkable agility on the froze snow. I called out, and it froze, turned towards me and paused long enough for a perfect view of...

...the first Canadian Lynx I ever had the fortune to view. It was about the size of a German Sheppard (so it was an adult). The fur was light gray with two unmistakable sharp-pointed black ears. Quite simply, it was a beautiful and daunting sight...and all feline.

(not the one I saw...but you get the idea)

My understanding is that the Canadian Lynx is not indigeneous to my little abode. However, someone had the bright idea of translocating 83 such creatures from the Yukon to upstate New York a while back. This would have been back in the late 80's to early 90's. The consensus at the time was that there were too many fatalities (32 of the 83 mostly due to car accidents) and that they didn't think the translocation would work.

Well, rest easy. My residence is over 300 miles from upstate New York (and over a decade since the release)...and the one I saw is doing just fine. The rabbits in the area, however, are not particularly enthusiastic about their new neighbor.