Someone Just Killed One of the Last Remaining Jaguars in the USA
One of just three jaguars known to be living in the U.S. was recently killed by poachers. Experts identified the jaguar’s pelt in a recent photo and say it is Yo’oko, a male jaguar (Panthera onca) that was known to roam the Huachuca Mountains in southern Arizona.
The rosette patterns on a jaguar’s pelt are unique to each individual, a trait that allowed officials with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to identify Yo’oko’s pelt in a photo sent to them from the Tucson-based Northern Jaguar Project. The endangered carnivore had been photographed near the Mexican border in Arizona several times in 2016 and 2017.
It’s unclear when Yo’oko died or who killed him, but the Arizona Daily Star reported today (June 28) that he may have been killed by a mountain lion hunter. A local rancher, Carlos Robles Elias, told the Arizona Daily Star that he heard from a friend that the jaguar was trapped and killed six months ago somewhere in Sonora, Mexico, near the U.S. border.
Orange, cave-dwelling crocodiles found in Gabon
Scientists looking for traces of ancient human life stumbled upon the unusual reptiles decade ago as they searched in the gloom of isolated caves in Gabon’s southern Omboue region. The scientists discarded other theories before speculating that lack of light in the Abanda caves may have caused depigmentation and urea in bat droppings may then have induced an orange hue.
Dwarf crocodiles (Osteolaemus tetraspis) are a well-studied species, but the ones in the cave complex stand out in the way they have adapted to their habitat. “We think these… crocodiles have been in the Abanda caves for around 3,000 years, which correlates fairly well with a time when the sea level fell and this coastal zone became terrestrial once again,” the scientists said. Mapping the cave complex, the scientists found four orange specimens in a community of 40.