Macho B Died for Your Sins: Western vs. Indigenous Perspectives on the Killing of the Last Borderlands Jaguar


On March 2, 2009, Macho B, quite possibly the last wild free-roaming jaguar in the United States died at the hands of man.  He was not killed by a trophy hunter desiring another wall mount, or a beautiful spotted pelt as a floor rug;  nor was he killed by a rancher seeking to protect his livestock investment from this most powerful of American predators.  Instead, Macho B’s death was directly brought about by the Arizona Game and Fish Department (hereafter AZGFD) with the full blessing and support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – the very two governmental agencies charged to protect this animal and to insure his safety and well-being under the Endangered Species Act.

The killing of Macho B offers a classic case study as to how western society and its stepchild, western science, view and exploit the natural world and other living entities.  It is a story of arrogance and dominance, of reckless and self-centered behavior, of misrepresentation and denial, and now it is also a story of a federal criminal investigation.   But most importantly, the Macho B tragedy tells us we must change our fundamental views about the natural world and our place in it.  The time has come for us to reexamine our current values and belief system, and to rewrite our policies and procedures to incorporate another more respectful and appropriate view of our fellow non-human beings with who we share the Earth. The alternative world view I am proposing is one that goes back to time immemorial, that of traditional Native America.

This essay hopes to accomplish two purposes: First, to provide a critical philosophical and factual analysis of the events which led to the death of Macho B, and secondly to provide a contrasting Indigenous views of the natural world and these relate to the Macho B story.

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6 Responses to Macho B Died for Your Sins: Western vs. Indigenous Perspectives on the Killing of the Last Borderlands Jaguar

  1. DeShonna Ballew says:

    You did a good job:D I like it.

  2. Amy Riley says:

    So what does the AZGFD think that they have accomplished by murdering this beautiful cat? If they truely were interested in studing Macho B, why did they not do this in his earlier years? Why wait unti his life cycle was coming to an end? I just do not understand why western science or even western society thinks it has the right to come and take and destroy whatever they please. I realize that to live in our world we need to understand our surroundings, but dont we also need to respect our surroundings….. I pray that Macho B’s fate will help bring light to westerners, make them understand that they have no right to go and take whatever they wish…. Not without grim repercussion…..

  3. Amber Forslund says:

    I’m glad that the specific people, such as the person who performed the autopsy on the cat and the researcher who set the actual trap came forward and admitted that they were wrong and what really happened. This is just another example, like you said, of people assuming that animals don’t have feelings. Obviously, AZGFD, and the country, need to find better ways to track animals. Mr and Mrs Childs’ had it right when the set up the video equipment, but not actually touching the animal or disturbing ins natural habitat. It needs to be looked into about why animals really come off the endangered species list- not because their numbers are getting better, but because they go extinct. People need to stand up for the animals, especially the rare ones like jaguars, because now who knows when another jaguar will wander in to our borders again. Good job calling them on the carpet Steve!

  4. Jeff James says:

    You know, when animals are covered by the Endangered Species Act, why did the AZGFD have the rights to basically kill the last jaguar. I look at the picture of such a beautiful cat, and it makes me sad to see that Macho B was taken off the face of our earth. This should be further investigated to see where the state of Arizona went wrong. I can’t imagine what it would be like taking the last of this species right off the continent. People need to realize what it means to PROTECT endangered species. All in all, I hope that when it comes down to one animal left of a certain species, that it will manage to survive on it’s own til death takes it’s course in a natural way.

  5. Pingback: Steve Pavlik · Who is the Beast?

  6. David Enholm says:

    Another perfect example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. I do not think for one second though that anyone was operating without having discussed this matter.
    An example of this that is filmed daily is the whaleing ships that the Steve Irwin anti-whaling vessel) tries to stop from killing whales under the umbrella of research. Though i think the Japanese have entirely different motives for what they do on the Ocean, it still comes down to the same basic motivation, greed.
    There are so many volumes of writings of this very thing happening along other lines to the Native American people. It is a fear of mine personaly that to many cultures will be lost because of these same tactics being deployed along political lines, for various other reasons.

    This class has added so many new levels of dimention to the way i see how things work in the small world we live in, how animals and humans are in many ways becoming exstinct.

    the last thing to go i fear before we all are dead, will be our ability to reason with eachother…

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