That conclusion is important because the game and fish department originally called the capture unintentional and because such "taking" of an endangered species may be a crime under the endangered species act.We do hope there are some serious repercussions for these screw-ups.
The report also concludes that Arizona Game and Fish was aware that Macho B was near a site where department employees were trapping animals in December 2008 and January 2009 and failed to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service about the jaguar’s presence, as required by federal law.
Finally, the report concludes that a Fish and Wildlife Service supervisor wrongly approved a cosmetic necropsy for the jaguar, instead of a complete necropsy “because he did not know the difference between the two procedures.” That decision meant there ended up being doubt about the cause of the jaguar’s death, the report says.
UPDATE: Read the full U.S. Inspector General report here. Highlights include:
Our review of the FWS agents’ documentation showed evidence linking an AZGFD subcontractor and possibly an AZGFD employee to criminal wrongdoing in the capture of Macho B. There was no evidence to suggest criminal involvement by any FWS or other Department of the Interior employees.
After Spangle made the decision to euthanize Macho B, he said that he spoke with Tuggle about the animal’s necropsy. Spangle said that during discussions about what to do with Macho B’s hide, the AZGFD wanted to preserve it for scientific and educational purposes. The AZGFD’s intention was for a full necropsy to be performed on Macho B. Spangle said that at the time he had never heard the term “necropsy.” When Phoenix Zoo officials asked him about the extent of the necropsy, he conveyed the AZGFD’s request to preserve the hide. Spangle said he approved a “full cosmetic necropsy” with the false understanding that it was the same as full necropsy, but would also include adequate measures to preserve the animal’s hide. Spangle said, “And in my naïveté, I didn’t have any clue that that would compromise the soft tissues.” Spangle explained, “I just thought they would carefully remove the — I imagine if you’re doing a necropsy, you’re digging in there and going for it and throwing the animal away. And to conserve the skin, they would do a more careful job, midlines cut probably and skin[ning] it carefully. I didn’t know until later that it prevented them from testing the brain and spinal tissue ….”