August 6, 2010
Phoenix, AZ - The Arizona Game and Fish Commission today
levied a civil assessment of $8,000 against Emil McCain, of
Patagonia, for the prohibited take of an endangered jaguar.
The Commission indicated that the amount of the assessment could
be revisited and potentially increased in the future if the Game
and Fish Department can establish a greater value for the animal
or identify additional recoverable costs.
The Commission also revoked McCain’s Arizona hunting, fishing and
trapping privileges for five years. Arizona is part of the
Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which means that McCain’s
hunting, fishing and trapping privileges will be revoked in all
the member compact states, which includes most of the western
McCain’s case was heard during today’s regularly scheduled public
Commission meeting. He was not present for the hearing.
McCain pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on May 14 for
unlawfully taking a jaguar in violation of the Endangered Species
Act. His plea agreement detailed how he placed jaguar scat or
directed another person to place jaguar scat at snare sites to
intentionally capture a jaguar. The jaguar known as Macho B was
caught in one of those snare sites on Feb. 18, 2009.
As part of his plea agreement in May, McCain was sentenced by U.
S. Magistrate Judge Bernardo P. Velasco to five years of
supervised probation with the condition that he is not permitted
to be employed or any way involved in any large cat or large
carnivore project or study in the United States during his
probationary term. He was also fined $1,000 for the Class A
Some previous media reports and other accounts about McCain’s
guilty plea have incorrectly identified him as an Arizona Game and
Fish Department employee or state official. As the Department has
previously stated, McCain has never been an employee of the
Arizona Game and Fish Department, and by the time Macho B was
initially captured, McCain had no contractual or volunteer
relationship with the Department. McCain acknowledged during the
change of plea proceeding that he was under no authorization from
the Department for the intentional capture of a jaguar.