At sunrise, I woke feeling foolish. While Jon cooked pancakes, I reasoned with myself, privately, in a notebook I brought on the trip. I tried to conceive of the situation as a geometry problem. Yes, some number of bears roved this landscape, I wrote: relatively tiny, independent blips, going about their business randomly, just like us.
In all that empty space and confusion, a lethal collision of their moving blips and our moving blips would be an improbable coincidence. It was embarrassing, really. I was reminding myself that freakishly horrible things are, by definition, unlikely to happen. Even now, my reasoning feels sound. Day 2 was a slog. We paddled through a spitting drizzle in an endless straight line, along the high granite walls of the coast.
We talked less and less, just pushed through the emerald chop. Then eventually we gave up, hauling in our boats and making camp in a wide, crescent-shaped cove, short of the site that Jon originally picked out on his map. In the s, one prospector built a cabin not far from our campsite and brandished a gun at the Alaska Natives who passed through. We intuited that the scenery was beautiful, but we could see very little of it through the fog. Soon, the big rain started. We rushed through dinner, then loafed in our tent until, eventually, the loafing turned to sleep.
Gale winds, with gusts up to 59 miles per hour, turned back two cruise ships in Skagway, about 85 miles north. Around 2 a. We heard torrents of water lashing down and the waves crashing in the cove. We got up three or four hours later. The rain and wind no longer felt ferocious but were still too gnarly to paddle through; there was no question, Jon said, that we were staying put. We cooked breakfast and took turns playing chess in the tent.
By late morning, the storm seemed to have passed. We were antsy. We figured we would take a look around. The terrain was crammed with thickets of alder and spruce, underlain by ferns and a furor of prickly things. The plant pierced fleece and hurt like fire. There were no trails. We followed it downstream, looking for a way across, and eventually found it bridged by a hefty tree trunk. It seemed like an easy crossing.
Jon stepped up and led the way, and Dave and I waited in a single-file line on the stream bank behind him. The creek was loud, like a factory with all its gears and rollers churning. But I must have scanned those trees long enough to feel satisfied and safe, because I know I was turning my head, to go back to my friends, when I saw the dark shape rushing forward in my peripheral vision.
What I heard must have been roots popping. If a tree is large enough, you can apparently hear them cracking underground like gunfire. The thud was seismic. The trunk crashed down right next to me. Mapping out bits of evidence later, we concluded that the tree must have been about 80 feet tall and perhaps two feet in diameter. It was some kind of conifer — a spruce or cedar. When I got to him, he was crouching, stunned but O. The sight of Dave going down had canceled out everything else.
It had narrowly missed his head, struck his left shoulder, shearing it from his collarbone and breaking many of his ribs. Jon had heard nothing, seen nothing.
He was turning around to help Dave onto the log — again, feeling responsible for our safety — and the next thing he knew, he was in the water. He tried to reach out his left arm but could not make it move. He could not move his legs. He felt a bolt of pain down his spine. Jon later described flashing through an idiosyncratic sequence of thoughts, all in a few milliseconds, as if watching a deck of cards fanning across a table. One was an image of himself in a wheelchair, sitting behind a mixing console in a fancy recording studio. He had never worked in a recording studio and, though he played music, he had no particular plans to.
Still, this vision apparently felt like an acceptable future and freed him to resurface in the present. That was when he registered me, screaming his name. He knew from his many wilderness first-responder trainings that moving a person with spinal injuries risks paralysis. He somehow hoisted himself out of the stream before Dave or I got to him, using his right arm and his chin and biting into something loamy with his teeth, for additional leverage.
He reassessed the situation: better. Also: worse. He now realized that we were at least a mile inland from our camp. Suddenly, his body was walking; his legs just started working. Dave and I put him between us, supporting his frame. He was moving faster than we expected, but uncoordinatedly.
Then he crumpled between us. We tried again; Jon was dead weight. Dave noticed that his breathing was shallow and his voice was low — signs, Dave knew from med school, of a collapsed lung. He began battering Jon with a pep talk, telling him, firmly, that he had to get up, that we had to get out of here. He looked down to see why this log he was resting on was so lumpy and realized that he was, in fact, sitting on his left arm. Jon had zero feeling in it. He found it amusing, this sensation of complete estrangement from one of his limbs.
Jon had been stressing that it was important to stay together. But this was another theory of wilderness survival that appeared to be breaking down in practice. Someone would have to get on the radio back at our camp. By chance, while marooned in our tent during the rainstorm the night before, Jon showed us how to use the device, though he did it almost as a formality; the hand-held VHF unit was merely a line-of-sight radio, he told us, meaning its range was small, its signal too weak to pass through most obstacles.
There was a moment of discussion, or maybe just an exchange of looks between me and Dave. I told Dave he should go. Besides, I took for granted that Dave would make it. He was more capable in my mind, less likely to cinch himself in indecisive knots. I know that you, growing up, definitely felt insecure about things, and I think you looked at me and thought, Dave has everything figured out. But I had so much anxiety. But I guess I thought of the tremor as strictly physiological. What if he broke the radio, foreclosing whatever marginal chance we had of getting help?
There were lots of ways to screw this up, Dave realized. More occurred to him as he ran. He found the radio. He turned it on. He was lying near a log on his injured side, his beard and glasses flecked with dirt and tendrils of moss. He seemed to be on the brink of losing consciousness. Still, I knew I was supposed to keep talking to him, to tether him to the world with my voice somehow. I started vamping platitudes: We were going to get out of here soon, and so forth.
But I could feel myself treading water, even blundering, at one point, into a long-winded apology, worried I overstayed my welcome that one Christmas with his family.
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I was afraid that the helplessness in my voice might be counterproductive, unsettling Jon instead of steadying him. It was a tremendous silence to fill. What can a person say? I had two literature professors in college who made us memorize poems. You never knew when some lines of verse would come in handy, they claimed.
One liked to brag that, while traveling through Ireland, he found that if he spat out some Yeats at a pub, he could drink free. This is how I wound up reciting a love poem to Jon. After that, I imagine I also did some W. Auden; I knew a fair amount of Auden back then. Jon and I would spend about an hour and a half together alone on the forest floor. I ran through everything in my quiver — Kay Ryan, A. Ammons, Michael Donaghy — padding each poem with little prefatory remarks, while Jon said nothing, just signaled with his eyes or produced a sound whenever I checked in.
I felt like a radio D. I must have also done at least one by Hayden Carruth, my curmudgeonly pen pal at the literary magazine. Hayden and the animal pass a moment in stillness together. The foot patrol boat normally spent its time coursing through the Gulf of Alaska, inspecting halibut-fishing vessels, or circulating, as a terrorist deterrent, near the oil terminals at Valdez.
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It was home-ported in Seward, hundreds of miles from Glacier Bay. But the crew was transiting to Juneau for a training when, a few days earlier, they were smacked by the same storm that later poured inland, over us. For two days, the boat swished around in foot-plus seas. Finally, the Mustang slipped into Glacier Bay to find some protection. The weather started to ease. That afternoon, as Roberts piloted the Mustang east, toward Dundas Bay, his pallid crewmates were finally staggering back up to the bridge, asking where the hell they were. Our signal would have covered two or three miles at most.
And yet, a boat — a Coast Guard boat, no less — happened to be passing through that exceedingly small window at precisely the right time. A moment earlier or later — seconds, potentially — and we might have slipped out of alignment. The moving boat would have cruised out of range, uncoupling from us forever. It was p. Then he turned and asked his watch commander to pull out all the standardized search-and-rescue paperwork. He was steeling himself, resummoning his professionalism. Roberts was the crew member on the Mustang with the most current medical training; he would complete his E.
We were nautical miles from the nearest hospital; a half-day trip, even in ideal conditions. He was still in front of our campsite, facing the water. He aimed straight up, then watched as the bright tracer rose and arced somewhere far behind him, deep in the woods. He was uncertain whether this counted as a success. He started scanning the fog in front of him, but the Zodiac never appeared. And yet, this was lucky: they wound up coming ashore much closer to where I was waiting in the woods with Jon.
Soon, whatever poem I was reciting was interrupted by whistles blowing and voices calling, and eventually three shapes, wearing hard hats and heavy orange rain gear, rushed toward us out of the trees. Roberts was especially impressive, a reassuringly large Boston-area native with a booming voice. The information was troubling: his pulse was 60 beats per minute; his breathing, fast and shallow.
They put his neck in a brace and eased him onto a kind of truncated backboard, called a Miller board, to move him out to the beach. Dave had returned by then. Later that night, lying down to sleep in a bed-and-breakfast in Gustavus — stunned and depleted, but dry and warm — Dave and I would talk and talk, reviewing the entire ordeal.
We had drooped into a long silence, coasting toward sleep, when Dave spoke up with one last observation. When we were getting ready to lift Jon on the backboard, he said, it occurred to him that this was one of those crisis moments you hear about, like when mothers are suddenly able to lift a car off their baby.
Dave expected we were going to have superhuman strength. We did not have superhuman strength. Then, in one motion, they took off downhill, with negligible help from us. The network had sent crews to other Coast Guard stations around the country too, though this assignment appeared to hold the most dramatic potential. Air Station Sitka was unique: Its pilots were responsible for 12, miles of coastline, a sprawling, treacherous wilderness riven with fjords, inlets and glaciers, often buffeted by implacably horrible weather.
She was taking the call from behind a semicircular counter, like the reception desk at a midlevel corporate branch office. Karl Baldessari, informed everyone that this mission would take longer to plan. Baldessari was a year veteran of the Coast Guard, a fast-moving, sinewy man in a blousy flight suit, with a tidy mustache and spiky hair. His role at the air station was that of a firehouse chief. He was responsible for the safety of everyone working there, which meant making judicious decisions about what warranted sending them hurtling through the sky.
That calculus got knotty in conditions like these, though there was a baseline volatility to flying in Alaska at all. Visibility in Alaska was frequently poor; conditions changed quickly. It was like taking an exit off the interstate, except there might be a granite wall in front of you wherever you chose to get off. It was possible the pilots would travel very far — a half-mile away from whoever needed their help — only to discover that the last leg was too risky and be forced to turn back. This Inian Pass, right here, is the worst place we could possibly go.
Inian Pass is a slim channel near the center of the Icy Strait, the long, interconnected system of waterways stretching through Glacier Bay. Conditions in the Icy Strait can be bad days of the year, Baldessari recently told me; wind, rain and storm surges all push through it fast from the open ocean. But Inian Pass is a narrow keyhole at the center of the strait — a mile-wide opening between a few uninhabited islands and a rocky point — where all that weather speeds up. The only way for the pilots to reach us would be to fly straight through it. Nothing in the National Geographic footage, at this point, feels reassuring.
The flight surgeon holds his hand over his mouth and bites his lip. The co-pilot, Chris Ferguson, only a few months into his posting in Alaska, mills around and fidgets with his ear. Lying on his backboard like a burl of driftwood, Jon was conscious and cognizant of his pain, but he had started to feel somehow buffered from his body, uninterested in connecting with the world beyond it. It was a very passive experience. He was confused and felt impatient. This was supposed to be the simple part, when everyone rushed him to the hospital. Instead, his condition deteriorated.
Within 10 minutes of reaching the beach, Jon threw up. I took out my wool cap to wipe his face, and he retched a second time, straight into my hat. It made Roberts anxious. He reported back to the Mustang that Jon had thrown up, then soon radioed again, explaining that Jon was going into shock. He kept giving and requesting updates, trying to gauge how long this might take, and eventually started erecting a makeshift shelter out of plastic sheeting and medical tape, hoping to keep Jon out of the rain.
Out of earshot of us, Roberts explained to his crew mate Eamon McCormack what the vomit meant: The possibility of Jon dying, here under their care, was real. They would go and give it a look, Baldessari explained over the radio, but the outlook was iffy. The guys on the beach, he said, must be prepared to get Jon back on their cutter and haul him to a hospital themselves, as fast as they could. One evening this winter, my phone rang, and it was Karl Baldessari. Long retired from the Coast Guard, he was teaching aviation at a community college in Oregon, where I left a voice mail message earlier that day.
I meanwhile had metamorphosed into a year-old father of two and fumbled to explain to Baldessari that, as thrilled as I was to have tracked him down, I was, at the moment, racing to finish a risotto for my daughters before gymnastics practice and would have to call him back.
However dramatic it remained for me, I assumed it would have been obscured in a yearslong wash of more sensational incidents. But everyone I spoke to did remember it, immediately and in detail. It was almost like it was yesterday. There was something about the supreme freakishness of the accident that left a lasting impression. For those who came ashore, the experience was also marked by a feeling of subtly escalating chaos and the pressure to surmount it.
McCormack told me that ours was a story he retold endlessly, often to the younger Coast Guardsmen he was eventually tasked with training. McCormack was not supposed to be landing an inflatable boat on an unforgivably rocky Alaskan shoreline, for example. But there he was, anyway, beaching the Zodiac as gingerly as he could, so that Roberts and the other men could load Jon aboard. As relieved as Jon had been when the Coast Guard first arrived, he also felt instantaneously more vulnerable.
Strapped to the back board, his neck in the collar, he surrendered control of his body, however imperfect that control had been. He was being hauled around as an object now, with no ability to wriggle or shift positions, to manage his pain or even to turn his head and see what was happening. He was helpless, entirely dependent on the upright people operating around him, those voices he could hear discussing him on the far side of some gauzy divide.
One side was completely deflated. Instead, McCormack found the puncture and wedged the nozzle of a small pump inside. Then — steering the boat with one hand, operating the throttle with the other — he started working the pump with his foot, essentially doing leg presses, to keep the fender partly inflated. The ride was already bumpy in four-foot seas. Roberts and the other Coast Guardsmen on the Zodiac leaned over Jon to shield him from the splash.
The pain was heinous; Jon seemed to be passing out. Roberts talked to him, held his hand. Roberts felt crushed, he told me; he was torturing this guy in order to save him. Jon was still battened to the backboard, wedged up to keep the weight of his body on his less-painful side. Dave and I knelt and rubbed his feet. The helicopter was going to make it. Now the crew got busy below: tying down anything that could be blown off by the rotor wash or stashing it in the mess. Instead, I remember only a heavy door to our left swinging open to reveal, like a scene from an action movie, the silhouette of a man in a blue flight suit, feet planted shoulder-width apart to steady himself as the ship rocked sideways.
Soon, everyone was working to squeeze him back through the narrow doorway and onto the deck where the helicopter, an MH Jayhawk, was idling overhead. Until recently, the story I told about the accident unfolded in two basic acts: the tree fell, instantaneously unleashing a kind of unfathomable chaos; then the Coast Guard appeared and, just as swiftly, regathered that chaos into order. It was like watching footage of an exploding object, then watching it run in reverse.
The maneuver the Coast Guard was readying to execute now, on the deck of the Mustang, would be the climax of that progression. The helicopter hovered 30 or 40 feet over the boat, mirroring its speed and trajectory, while both vehicles moved slowly forward. Forward and right The whole procedure, from our vantage point, seemed seamless and routine. In a way, it was: After the agonized deliberation at the air station, the pilots exited off their GPS route into fairly manageable conditions around Inian Pass. Ultimately, scooping Jon off the deck of the Mustang would resemble a standard exercise that the pilots drilled in their trainings.
A few moments earlier, as the men scurried around Jon on his backboard, packaging and fastening him for the hoist, Jon worried that the second he got airborne he would start twirling uncontrollably, like the feathery end of a cat toy, and potentially thwack his head on the equipment on deck. But now, he was levitating smoothly — a solitary, swaddled bale of a man, perfectly perpendicular to the ground. Dave and I watched it happen: our friend rising steadily away from us, improbably, to safety. As Jon floated higher, he could hear the Coast Guardsmen on the Mustang beneath him begin to cheer.
He felt it was safe to open his eyes. When he did, he saw someone, hunched in the open cargo door of the helicopter, pointing a television camera at him. Jon was rushed into surgery at the hospital in Sitka that evening. His spleen had been macerated into countless flecks. After awakening from surgery, Jon was disappointed that the doctors had swept those shards into a bag and thrown his spleen in the trash; he wanted to get a look at it, maybe even keep it preserved in a jar, alongside his cyborg-banana. He felt he would need to face conversations like these if he was going to be a doctor. I guess, logistically, we did.
We had zero sense of accomplishment, or even agency. In our minds, all we did was avoid screwing up until the real help could arrive and save him. From the instant he willed himself out of the water, he felt all of us locking into that same seamless flow of order steadily displacing chaos that Dave and I only experienced once the Coast Guard arrived. It was amazing to him how the three of us managed to generate solutions for each successive problem.
The feeling of inevitability that day became only more pronounced for Jon as time passed and the entire story of our rescue receded into a prologue to the rest of his life. The surgery in Sitka was only the first of half a dozen, and it would take several years for him to regain 60 percent of the use of his arm, wrist and hand, as the nerves gradually regrew along his injured side. He could repair kayaks but needed help lifting them. He was unable to wrestle the mattress corners into the fitted sheets when he made the beds.
After that, he started working at a recording studio in Portland, just as he envisioned while stuck in the water, and he now runs his own audio-mastering company: Spleenless Mastering. Eventually Jon seemed to have recovered from the accident without any conspicuous disabilities. But his life has been quietly corroded by chronic pain and, almost equally, by the stresses of navigating the doctors, medications and their side effects to manage it.
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About two years after the accident, he learned he had PTSD. It manifested as a kind of unbearable empathy for anyone who was suffering. He would hear interviews with natural-disaster victims or the homeless on NPR and have to pull his car over. There continued to be other tribulations, too — more mundane ones. A few times a year, he still rebreaks a rib out of nowhere; once or twice, Jon told me, all it has taken is an especially affectionate hug from his wife. Jon found early on that he could cordon off this suffering, both in his own mind and in conversation, by making jokes about the accident itself and sticking to the happy ending of our rescue, a trick that got much easier after the National Geographic show aired later that year.
The soundtrack was all heart-thwacking synth drums and shredding guitar. Initially, the schlockiness of the production felt like a blessing. The show depersonalized the accident, giving us all a shorthand to convey how dramatic that day had been, without confronting how destabilizing and senseless it might have felt. But we never realized the degree to which that kitschy shorthand started to obscure the real story — then, gradually, to replace it.
The morning after the accident, Dave and I traveled back to Dundas Bay to pack up our campsite and collect the kayaks we abandoned the previous evening. We were shuttled there from Gustavus by the same boat captain who dropped us off three days earlier, a forbiddingly taciturn commercial fisherman named Doug Ogilvy. He asked if we had waders. We did not.
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So Ogilvy put on his, climbed down the ladder and told Dave to get on his back. Then stoically, like an ox or an old-timey strongman hauling a safe, he trudged through the thigh-high water, dropped Dave on the gravel beach, then lurched back and hauled me the same way, as if I were a man-size infant in a papoose. That is, he half-expected to find evidence that the accident had been fortuitous somehow, that there was a reason, or redemptive value, behind it. My mother had the same instinct when I called her the night before.
On the phone I strained to emphasize for her — she was only two years into her cruelly premature widowhood, and I was new at being the overprotective son of a widow — that Jon was going to be all right, and that Dave and I were safe. She told me that my dad must have been up there looking out for us somehow. I resented all the supernatural thinking. A tree fell in the woods. It might not have, but it did. As strange as it sounds, it was years before I realized that the tree could have hit me — and only after a friend pointed this out, as I told the story around a fire one night.
During his three years with the Jaguar Survey and Monitoring Project, Bugbee was able to get dozens of photographs and video clips of El Jefe. Mayke sniffed out 13 verified scat samples.
When the project funding ran out in the summer of , Bugbee wanted to continue his research. It took several lawsuits filed by the Center, from to , for the agency to grudgingly list jaguars as an endangered species in the U. USFWS argued that the occasional lone wandering male jaguar did not constitute a viable population worth protecting, and that the species was not endangered on the other side of the border. Neils started and Serraglio led a publicity campaign that championed El Jefe as the main reason to stop the mine.
Neils began making presentations in local schools about El Jefe and jaguars in the Southwest, and Bugbee headed back into the Santa Ritas with Mayke and a new set of cameras. El Jefe has a big, wide mouth and he keeps his muzzle open, drinking in the scented air and brushing it across his palate and nasal passages. El Jefe was like a dirty little secret they wanted to keep quiet. It kept me up at night. For months, Bugbee and Neils kept their own video footage under wraps. They knew it was a powerful publicity weapon against the mine, but they worried that some hunter or mine supporter might see the footage and go into the mountains to kill El Jefe.
In February , they decided to risk going public. It was broadcast in television news stories, with a viewership of 21 million in the U. Worldwide, the Center estimates that million people saw the video. There was a massive outpouring of support for El Jefe. I heard from friends in Vietnam, Australia, Sumatra who had seen the video. It was very positive for jaguars, and it produced a very negative reaction from U.
Fish and Wildlife and the University of Arizona. A regional supervisor at USFWS called Neils and told her to stop the jaguar outreach program in the schools and return educational materials borrowed from the agency. Bugbee says he was threatened with legal action for harassing an endangered species. The University of Arizona removed his name from the research permit and took away his field vehicle.
When the final report for the Jaguar Survey and Monitoring Project was made public, after a long delay and a Freedom of Information Act request from a Tucson journalist, Bugbee saw that his name had been removed as one of its authors, even though he had written most of the draft. Melanie Culver, who led the project at the University of Arizona, had met with Bugbee in September Fish and Wildlife.
He went ahead and released the video through the Center. The implication of her statement seems clear enough. The university is under contract with USFWS to produce unbiased scientific research on jaguars and ocelots. That was our biggest concern, that it was endangering the animal. The coffee pot is simmering on the campfire as the sun comes up. The air is hot, parched and still. Mayke gets up stiff and hobbling, but soon limbers up when we start hiking. Bugbee wants to visit one of his favorite ridges. This is how El Jefe travels through the mountains, as Bugbee learned the hard way.
Scrabbling up the loose scree, bushwhacking through lacerating thickets of oak and manzanita, we disturb two rattlesnakes who coil and buzz. Piles of fresh bear scat are littered around. Overhead, red-tailed hawks and golden eagles soar across a vast blue sky. Finally we reach a high slope under a rock outcropping that looks like a castle. Mayke leads us to the bleaching bones of a torn-apart bear carcass.
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Bugbee picks up the skull. The front is crushed, and the back is punctured in four places, perhaps by jaguar teeth. He puts the scat and the skull into zip-lock bags and outlines a likely scenario. But we need to test the scat. It could be mountain lion. Those hairs might not be bear. From this high vantage point, El Jefe could see all the way south into Mexico; the northern ranges of the Sierra Madre cordillera are a blue silhouette on the horizon.
Jaguars have a highly developed spatial memory, so El Jefe knows where he came from, and that other jaguars are there, including females. Below us to the northeast is the proposed site of the Rosemont Mine. If its permits are approved, the mile-wide, half-mile-deep pit will be dynamited in the foothills.
Trucks generating 50 round-trip shipments a day will haul off the copper concentrate. More than a billion tons of waste rock will be placed in engineered structures at least one mile away from the mountains, right by the only two places in the nation where jaguar and ocelot have been photographed in the same location.
A USFWS study indicates that 12 endangered and threatened species would be affected by the mine, including the Chiricahua leopard frog, the Southwestern willow flycatcher, three fish species and the northern Mexican garter snake. Overturning its own scientists, who stated that the mine would kill or harm El Jefe and other endangered species, the agency found no reason under the Endangered Species Act to prevent construction. Patrick Merrin, a Hudbay vice president, points out that copper is an essential component in electronics, electrical transmission and everyday life.
Spangle also wants to correct a widespread misapprehension about his agency. We just review projects for compliance with the Endangered Species Act. We used the best available science and computer models to make this determination on the Rosemont Mine. Bugbee is disappointed but not surprised by U.
Randy Serraglio, from the Center for Biological Diversity, has filed notice to sue, challenging the final biological opinion on the Rosemont Mine. Forest Service. As this article went to press, the Los Angeles regional office of the Corps recommended denial of the project; a final decision has not been made. If the permits are approved, it seems certain that the mine will be built, but not any time soon. The Bugbee-Neils house on the edge of Tucson is home to five dogs, three cats, 40 baby tortoises, various chickens and turkeys, a prairie dog, a cockatoo and a roomful of snakes.
Removing the bear skull from its zip-lock bag, he shows it to Neils, an expert on black bears from her years studying them in Florida. Bugbee then removes the suspected jaguar scat, spritzes it with water, and reseals it in the plastic bag. He waits for an hour and then hides the moistened scat among the cactuses in the front yard. Find the scat! Mayke systematically searches the yard, zigzagging back and forth with her nose to the ground, until a breeze gets up and wafts the scent toward her. She trots directly to the scat, sniffs it, sits down, looks at Bugbee and barks twice.
The hairs in the scat are later confirmed in the lab as black bear. Bugbee sits down at his laptop, and finds the last photographs and videos of El Jefe. Where is he now? He could have been shot, or killed by a vehicle. An injury could have lessened his hunting powers, leading to death by starvation. He could be in another Sky Island mountain range.
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