Eyes of fire

  • Line drawing of a jaguar

  It was March 7, 1996, on the fourth day of a 10-day lion hunt in the Peloncillo Mountains of southern Arizona, when rancher Warner Glenn and his hunting dogs happened on a big cat they'd never seen before in America. It was a jaguar, and Glenn, in this quickly produced little booklet, tells us he had no desire to kill the rare animal. His chief concern was saving both the cat and his dogs, which leapt to the attack; next, he wanted to record the rare sighting. So Glenn yelled and stomped gravel to divert his hounds, then shot the 175-pound male with his camera. Ten color pictures are featured in this memoir; in an afterword, photographer Jay Dusard says the encounter tells him that wildlife can coexist with a hunter-rancher like Glenn, who tries to minimize fences and create a "working wilderness." While the jaguar is protected under the Endangered Species Act, it has no habitat designated here. What that means, Glenn says, is that "It will take all of our efforts to protect this animal and the wide open country it needs." The spotted cat probably followed a 100-mile corridor that the Peloncillo range creates along the Arizona-New Mexico border up from Mexico. As for the lion hunters, they bagged a lion the following day.

Eyes of Fire: Encounter with a Borderlands Jaguar, story and photographs by Warner Glenn, 28 pages, is published by Printing Corner Press, Warner and Wendy Glenn, Glenn Ranch, P.O. Drawer 1039, Douglas, AZ 85608 (520/558-2470). $19.50.

*Betsy Marston

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