To catch a cat

Upclose shot of a jaguar
American jaguar in the nature habitat of brazilian jungle, panthera onca, wild brasil, brasilian wildlife, pantanal, green jungle, big cats, dark background, low key
Trekking through one of the largest unexplored rain forests in the world, La Mosquitia in Honduras, Travis King set up traps last spring to catch jaguars — or whatever other animal came into range of the cameras.

King, an environmental science graduate student at Washington State University, was one of 12 biologists conducting the first biological survey of the area known as La Ciudad Blanca or the Lost City of the Monkey God, astounding ruins first identified in 2012.

It was already familiar work for King, who has used remote-sensing camera traps and other methods to identify the behavior and distribution of elusive big cats from Costa Rica, Honduras, and Belize all the way to central Washington.

At an early age, King said, “I knew I had this interest in vertebrate animals, anything from frogs to cats.”

Travis King pictured on a small boat on a jungle river.
Travis King and other researchers in Costa Rica Travis King (left front) travels through a Costa Rican swamp at Tortuguero National Park in 2014, with a team from Panthera and local guides. (Courtesy Travis King)

So he sought a university that connected to his interests and WSU fit the bill, where he first helped with cougar and caribou research in the Selkirk Mountains.

For the full story, see Washington State Magazine website.