Game and Fish worker is fired for alleged lying, cover-up in jaguar capture

Macho B and Thornton SmithThe state fired a worker Friday for lying to federal investigators about the fact that the U.S.'s last known wild jaguar was lured to his capture and for concocting a cover-up story, officials said.

The employee, Thornton W. Smith, 40, said biologist Emil McCain told him he had put jaguar scat at two sites near the area where Macho B was captured a year ago southwest of Tucson, the Arizona Game and Fish Department revealed late Friday.

"We made a different story to protect the department, protect Emil, to protect my association with Emil, about, you know, not leaving jaguar scat, but (tape recording inaudible) ... But you know, I can't live with that. You know I did it."

Quote taken from Emil McCain regarding the thinly-veiled conspiracy to capture Macho B: "The high-ups in the agency are fully aware of what is happening and we are all on the same page. The timing may be perfect for me to be out of town."

Read the full story here (AZ Daily Star), See full set of photos from Macho B capture, for more insider information about this capture read this blog.

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