It was a year ago yesterday, Feb. 18 2009, that the jaguar Macho B was found trapped in a leg snare set by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
A year ago today, endangered species coordinator Terry Johnson announced the capture and collaring at a meeting of the Jaguar Conservation Team (see pdf), and Game and Fish put out a celebratory http://azgfd.net/artman/publish/NewsMedia/Arizona-Game-and-Fish-collars-first-wild-jaguar-in-United-States.shtml" target="_blank">press release.
The Star's Tony Davis and Brady McCombs wrote a story that began: "Arizona officials have captured and placed a tracking collar on a wild jaguar for the first time ever in the United States, the state wildlife agency said Thursday."
As I look back at the emails between the participants in the capture and the officials tracking the animal, what's striking is how excited and happy everyone was about the capture.
But in retrospect, you can see the problems lurking underneath. Within a few days -- how many, we're still uncertain -- Macho B stopped moving any significant distance. The last real movement I see is a reference to him moving 400 meters in the 24 hours leading up to the evening of Feb. 22.
Then, of course, he was recaptured March 2 and euthanized. The rest is history still unfolding.