A Hero For Wild Cats. Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, 1953-2018
Alan’s determination to secure the Jaguar Corridor—the lifeline of Latin America’s iconic big cat—gave rise to the Journey of the Jaguar. Insatiably curious and famously impatient, Alan wasn’t content just to mark the steady progress that has been made in the years since he launched the Jaguar Corridor Initiative, one of the world’s largest and most ambitious wildlife conservation efforts; he wanted to put a rocket under it.
“The Jaguar Corridor exists today because the jaguar shaped it and owned it, overcoming all obstacles that stood in its way.”
–Dr. Alan Rabinowitz
Perhaps Alan saw the window closing on our opportunity to save jaguars. He knew that the longer we wait to act, the fewer options we have, the more expensive, and the more difficult to implement. Or perhaps he knew that his own time was short. Either way, he was determined to use his influence to remove roadblocks and speed things the hell up.
Alan was only able to complete the first year of his epic Journey of the Jaguar, but what a year it was. He challenged government ministers, titans of business, and his closest friends to join him, securing new diplomatic commitments and new funding for our programs.
He marveled at the passion jaguars still inspire in the old-timers like Warner Glenn and Vicente, Brazil’s last Guato Indian, and kindle anew in young people like the Pantaneiro children at Panthera’s Jofre Velho School and the teenage dancers in Sinaloa bringing new meaning to old traditions.
He challenged himself physically, climbing into the thin air of Colombia’s San Lucas range and, on a dare, braving a death-defying cave swim in Honduras’ Jeanette Kawas National Park.
Unknowingly, he gave a priceless gift to the field scientists and staff at the sites he visited—a last chance to learn from and be inspired by their hero. They will lead thousands of others in proudly carrying on Alan’s legacy.
His final forays into the field—in Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Brazil—epitomized Alan’s approach to life and conservation: never give up.
We won’t, Alan. The Journey continues.