Jaguar's Shadow: Searching for a Mythic Cat

Front Cover
Yale University Press, May 14, 2014 - Nature - 374 pages
When the nature writer Richard Mahler discovers that wild jaguars are prowling a remote corner of his home state of New Mexico, he embarks on a determined quest to see in the flesh a big, beautiful cat that is the stuff of legend--yet verifiably real. Mahler's passion sets in motion a years-long adventure through trackless deserts, steamy jungles, and malarial swamps, as well as a confounding immersion in centuries-old debates over how we should properly regard these powerful predators: as varmints or as icons, trophies or gods? He is drawn from border badlands south to Panama's rain forest along a route where the fate of nearly all wildlife now rests in human hands. Mahler's odyssey introduces him to unrepentant poachers, pragmatic ranchers, midnight drug-runners, ardent conservationists, trance-induced shamans, hopeful biologists, stodgy bureaucrats, academic philosophers, macho hunters, and gentle Maya Indians. Along the way, he is forced to reconsider the true meaning of his search--and the enduring symbolism of the jaguar.
 

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Contents

God Almighty Thats a Jaguar
1
It Pays Us Again and Again
16
Among All Big Cats We Know Least About Them
30
We All Felt Really Blessed
49
Well Drawn and Unmistakable
64
The Model for How to Live
87
Jaguars Possess the Power of God
102
Blood of the Valiant
117
Siga el Pisto
224
Living in the Same Place It Always Has
236
Pretty Well Hunted Out
248
These Animals Could Become Wonderful Teachers
262
Its Good if Its Dead
280
A Flagship Species for Conservation
292
The Mother Liquor from Which We Have Come
306
To See One at All Is a Lifetime Experience
320

He Believes He Is a Jaguar
142
There It Is Im Going to Shoot It
160
Cows Are More Important Than Cats
179
We Just Stopped Seeing Them
198
To Ensure Our Namesake Is Protected
210
Sources
327
Saving and Studying Jaguars
343
Acknowledgments
349
Index
351
Copyright

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