I have been asked what happened (or will happen) to Macho B’s remains and so I asked Bill Van Pelt of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Here is his fascinating response:
The jaguar’s remains are being held pending necropsy results and in case of need for additional laboratory analyses. When they are no longer needed for such analyses, they will be put to the highest and best scientific, educational, and/or (Native American) religious use. As is standard practice with endangered species remains, the Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will agree on what that use or those uses will be. Remains that cannot be put to scientific, educational, or religious use will be disposed of in an appropriate manner (e.g. incineration of soft tissue remains). Meanwhile, current distribution of the remains is as follows: (a) Tissue samples from the trachea, esophagus, lungs, heart, stomach, liver, spleen, gall bladder, bladder, kidneys, small and large intestines, and adrenal glands were removed by The Phoenix Zoo post-mortem and sent to the Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (AZVDL). After evaluation at AZVDL, the samples were sent to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Once the USGS Wildlife Health Center has completed its evaluation, the samples or portions thereof will be sent to a veterinary histopathologist/necropsy expert at the University of California at Davis for independent analysis. Remaining samples will be returned to The Phoenix Zoo pending finalization of the necropsy report and the independent reviews. (b) Blood, hair, and swabs are being stored at the University of Arizona, pending distribution for genetic analyses. At least one sample will be sent to the Global Felid Conservation Genetics Program (American Museum of Natural History) for integration into their database for long-term management and conservation of jaguars range-wide. Other samples or portions thereof will be analyzed at the University of Arizona. (c) An additional tissue sample has been banked at the San Diego Natural History Museum in the San Diego Zoo’s Conservation and Research of Endangered Species group, pending possible need for further laboratory analysis. (d) A premolar (tooth) was pulled for cementum aging by specialists in Montana. (e) A taxidermist skinned the jaguar carcass and sent the hide to a professional tanner to preserve it for short-term storage and/or any future scientific, educational, or religious use. (f) After the jaguar was skinned, the carcass was placed with the San Diego Natural History Museum. The Museum has cataloged a genetic sample (see above) and is removing the remaining soft tissue to preserve the skeletal remains, which will be cataloged in the Museum’s collection pending final distribution.