Yo’oko, a Jaguar that once Roamed the United States, has been Killed

The Jaguar

A newly-released photo of a jaguar pelt is widely believed to be that of Yo’oko, a jaguar who had previously been seen in the United States. This skull did not belong to Yo’oko. Image courtesy of Richard Mahler.

This is not the sort of story I like to share. Since 1996, seven male jaguars (Panthera onca) have been confirmed in the United States. This provided some hope that the species, which once ranged widely throughout the southwestern US, might eventually recolonize parts of their former range. Unfortunately, one of those jaguars has been killed.

The Northern Jaguar Project (NJP) recently sent a photo of a jaguar pelt to the Arizona Daily Star. The NJP’s biologists, six members of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and a retired US Fish and Wildlife biologist have all looked at the picture. They have concluded that the spot pattern matches…

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