Based on the rosette patterns of this pelt, experts believe that the Yo’oko, a jaguar thought to be one of the only two in the U.S. Credit: The Center for Biological Diversity
One of the only three jaguars known to live a life in the US was recently killed by poachers. Experts determined that the jaguar’s pelt in a recent photo, and say that the Yo’oko, a man of the jaguar (Panthera onca) that was known to roam through the Huachuca Mountains in southern Arizona, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
The rosette patterns on a jaguar’s pelt for each person are unique, a property that allowed the officials with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to identify Yo’oko the coat in a photo sent to them of the Tucson-based Northern Jaguar Project. The endangered carnivore was photographed near the Mexican border in Arizona several times in 2016 and 2017, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, a non-profit organization focused on protecting endangered species.
It is unclear when Yo’oko died or who killed him, but the Arizona Daily Star reported today (28 June) that he was killed by a mountain lion hunter. A local farmer, Carlos Robles Elias, told the Arizona Daily Star that he heard from a friend that the jaguar was captured and killed six months ago, somewhere in Sonora, Mexico, near the US border. [Photos: Elusive Jaguars In The Center]
It is forbidden to hunt or kill, jaguars, which are an endangered species, and a jaguar may not be what you’oko the killer was after. Elias told the Arizona Daily Star that he suspects a hunter was hired to trap a mountain lion, which is legal to kill in Arizona, but caught Yo’oko place. Farmers in the area to go after the mountain lions and other predators that eat calves and threaten the farmers’ livelihood, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
The Northern Jaguar Project, a non-profit working to conserve jaguars, has refused to share the source of the coat photo. The group does not risk losing the confidence of farmers and farmers in the area, which the support of the group depends on for the preservation of endangered indigenous species such as jaguars, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
Seven jaguars have been photographed in the U.S. in the past 20 years, although in the last three years, experts have spotted just three of the wild cats, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. However, jaguars once lived in the Southwest from Louisiana to Southern California. Hunting and loss of habitat over the past 150 years, the population decimated, and jaguars are listed as endangered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1972.
Original article on Live Science.