A male jaguar climbed two trees and clawed some of a Benson hunting guide’s dogs before running away Saturday.
Donnie Fenn, 32, told a sometimes harrowing tale Tuesday of his encounter with the adult jaguar in a canyon in Cochise County, south of Interstate 10.
“It’s the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me,” said Fenn, who leads hunters to mountain lions with his dogs as a hobby. “To be honest with you – I got to see it in real life, my daughter got to see it, but I hope never to encounter it again.
“I was nervous, scared, everything. That was an experience I’ll never forget. It was just the aggressiveness – the power it had, the snarling. It wasn’t a snarl like a lion. It was a roar. I’ve never heard anything like it.”
Fenn said he and his daughter and hunting dogs saw the jaguar atop two trees. They first spotted him atop a mesquite tree from about 200 feet away. Then, after Fenn left to call Game and Fish officials to seek advice on handling the situation, the jaguar left that tree and raced away, with Fenn’s hounds in pursuit.
Eventually, the dogs caught up to and surrounded the jaguar, who clawed some of them and caused some puncture wounds as he tried to get away, Fenn said.
It was the first confirmed jaguar sighting in the United States since the death of Macho B in March 2009.
At a news conference Tuesday at Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Tucson office, Fenn and department officials declined to specify the jaguar’s location.
Read more of this story Wednesday in the Arizona Daily Star.