May 8th, 2008
10:53 AM ET

The U.S. Jaguar: Threatened by the Mexico border-fence?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/TECH/science/05/05/jaguars.fence/art.recent.jag.jpg
caption="Rancher Glenn calls the jaguar a 'beautiful, magnificent cat' that must be saved for future generations."]

Rusty Dornin
CNN Correspondent

When most people think of jaguars they think of the jungles of Central and South America, not the remote desert ranges between the United States and Mexico. When I heard jaguars were coming north across the border and that some there believe the border fence might stop that, I was intrigued.

It was a 20 mile drive on a dirt road south of Douglas, Arizona to reach Warner Glenn's ranch. At six foot six, with his tanned face and steely blue eyes, Glenn may be close to seventy years old, but he is every inch the American cowboy. With Glenn and his daughter Kelly, we saddled up mules and rode up steep canyons to nearly 6 thousand feet. We could see more than 50 miles in every direction, as Glenn pointed out the craggy outcropping where he took the very first picture of a live jaguar in the United States in 1996.

Despite the fact jaguars might prey on his cattle, Glenn’s passionate in his belief that this elusive cat should be allowed to roam back and forth across the border. “I’d be willing to donate a few calves to this animal, says Glenn, ‘it’s a beautiful magnificent cat and I would had to see us do anything that could cause the survival of the cat to go backwards”.