Democracy Dies in Darkness

Obituaries

Alan Rabinowitz, champion of leopards, jaguars and other wild cats, dies at 64

By Harrison Smith

August 7, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Alan Rabinowitz in Bhutan, inspecting tiger tree scratches. He co-founded Panthera, a conservation organization for wild cats. (Steve Winter/Panthera)

Alan Rabinowitz, a zoologist who overcame a debilitating stutter to become a powerful voice for leopards, jaguars and other wild cats threatened by humans, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in Manhattan. He was 64.

The cause was cancer, according to a statement from Panthera, a wild-cat conservation organization that he co-founded in 2006 and, until recently, led as chief executive. Dr. Rabinowitz had been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2001.

As a child with a severe stutter, Dr. Rabinowitz spent much of his free time playing on the floor of his bedroom closet, where he secluded himself with “a little menagerie” of pet chameleons, snakes, turtles and hamsters — “the only living beings around me that seemed to listen but not judge.”

Dr. Rabinowitz went on to conquer his speech disorder and become “the Indiana Jones of wildlife protection,” as Time magazine once called him, braving 500-mile hikes through the wilderness, vampire bats, attacks of leeches and malaria, and a plane crash in the jungle, to preserve wild cats from Latin America to Southeast Asia.

At the Wildlife Conservation Society, where he worked for nearly three decades before moving to Panthera full time in 2008, Dr. Rabinowitz gained international renown for his research on jaguars, tigers, rhinos, bears, raccoons, leopards, leopard cats and civets.

Dr. Rabinowitz in 2012. (Steve Winter/Panther)

In Belize, his work was credited with spurring the creation of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s first jaguar preserve; in Myanmar, he discovered a deer known as the leaf muntjac — “an animal so tiny that hunters wrap it in a single, albeit ample, leaf from a tropical plant,” according to the New York Times.

In recent years, he linked the world’s declining populations of big cats to the rise of infectious diseases such as SARS, West Nile virus and Ebola, saying that these apex predators “stabilize and help balance the ecological food webs to which they belong.”

But Dr. Rabinowitz also “went beyond the science,” said biologist and conservationist George Schaller, to convince foreign governments and local populations of the importance of protecting animals, especially those that are seen as a nuisance, threat or a lucrative source of fur.

“Nobody goes to Belize, or anywhere else, and establishes a reserve — you convince the government to establish it. That takes a certain political sense,” said Schaller, who serves as vice chair of Panthera’s science council. “It takes passionate people like Alan to be on the ground in these countries, sometimes for several years, to reach the trust of the government and convince them to protect something. And that’s not what you train for as a scientist.”

Dr. Rabinowitz successfully pressed the military leaders of Myanmar, also known as Burma, to create the world’s largest tiger reserve, a sanctuary in the Hukawng Valley nearly as large as Vermont. He said his work was actually easier “in communist countries and in dictatorships than in democracies,” where he was often frustrated by slow-moving agencies and bureaucratic red tape.

“I find that most of these dictators — they’re not nice people, and I’m not an apologist for the ones I work with, but I will do anything I can to save animals,” he said in a 2008 appearance on “The Colbert Report.”

Dr. Rabinowitz also helped create the largest nature preserve in Taiwan; drew international attention to tigers in Thailand, where the United Nations added a wildlife sanctuary to its World Heritage list in 1991; and, in the Himalayan mountains of Bhutan, identified a previously unknown population of high-altitude tigers.

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Alan Rabinowitz, a zoologist who overcame a debilitating stutter to become a powerful voice for leopards, jaguars and other wild cats threatened by humans, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in Manhattan. He was 64. Read the obituary
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Washington Post reporter and columnist Warren Brown, who brought race and class-conscious insights to his coverage of the automotive industry and who wrote about his health struggles and the kidney he received from a colleague, died July 26 at a hospital in Manassas, Va. He was 70. Read the obituary
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Adrian Cronauer, who was a disc jockey at the Saigon-based Dawn Buster radio show and whose experiences are chronicled in the movie “Good Morning, Vietnam,” died on July 18 at a nursing home near his home in Troutville, Va. He was 79. Read the obituary
Henry Morgenthau III, TV producer and documentarian whose father was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s treasury secretary, died July 11 in Washington. He was 101. Read the obituary
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French writer, journalist and movie producer Claude Lanzmann died on July 5 at age 92. Read the obituary
Joe Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson family of entertainers, died in the early morning of June 27. He was 89 years old. Read the obituary
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Kate Spade, the fashion designer best known for her iconic line of handbags, was found dead June 5 at her home in Manhattan. She was 55. Read the obituary.
Philip Roth, the acclaimed author seen as “the voice of his generation,” died May 22 at age 85. Read the obituary.
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Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the 1978 blockbuster “Superman,” died May 13 at 69. Read the obituary .
Two-term California governor George Deukmejian, whose anti-spending credo earned him the nickname “The Iron Duke,” died May 8 of natural causes, a former chief of staff said. He was 89. Read the obituary
Ninalee Allen Craig, the subject of Ruth Orkin’s photo “American Girl in Italy, Florence, 1951” died May 1. Read the obituary
Jab’o Starks, a drummer whose crisp, disciplined grooves propelled some of James Brown’s biggest hits and helped define the offbeat rhythmic style of early funk and hip-hop, died May 1 at his home in Mobile, Ala. He was 79. Read the obituary
Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, a Korean-born martial artist who settled in Washington and helped popularize taekwondo in the United States, preaching a philosophy of “truth, beauty and love” while teaching members of Congress how to kick and punch, died April 30 at an assisted-living community in Arlington, Va. He was 86. Read the obituary
Bob Dorough, a pianist and singer who performed with jazz greats Charlie Parker and Miles Davis but was perhaps best known for his whimsical compositions for the animated video series “Schoolhouse Rock!,” died April 23 at his home in Mount Bethel, Pa. He was 94. Read the obituary
Verne Troyer, an actor who was known best for his role as Mini-Me, a pint-size version of Mike Myers’s Dr. Evil in two “Austin Powers” movies, died April 21. He was 49. Mr. Troyer, who was 2 foot 8, appeared in dozens of movies and TV series, including “Jack of All Trades” and “Boston Public.” His most famous role, by far, was as Mini-Me, first in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” (1999) and in “Austin Powers in Goldmember” (2002). Read the obituary
Bruno Sammartino, foreground, fled to the mountains of Italy with his family during World War II and came to the United States at 14, weighing just 80 pounds. Within 10 years, he built himself into a 275-pound mound of muscle, with remarkable strength and a relentless, blue-collar style that made him one of the most popular professional wrestlers of the 1960s and 1970s. Mr. Sammartino, who was once among the highest-paid athletes in the United States, died April 18 at a hospital in Pittsburgh. He was 82. Read the obituary
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Carl Kasell, a radio personality who brought gravitas and goofiness to the airwaves, first as a staid newsreader on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and later as the comic foil and scorekeeper on the delightfully silly news quiz show “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!,” died April 17 at an assisted-living center in Potomac, Md. He was 84. Read the obituary
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Peter Gruenberg, a German scientist who won the Nobel Prize in physics for a discovery that made possible great advances in computer technology by enabling the rapid reading of vast quantities of stored data, died April 7. He was 78. Read the obituary
Donald McKayle, a Tony-nominated choreographer who created classic works of modern dance and was the first black man to direct and choreograph Broadway musicals, died April 6 at a hospital in Orange, Calif. He was 87. Read the obituary
Isao Takahata, co-founder of the prestigious Japanese animator Studio Ghibli that stuck to a hand-drawn “manga” look in the face of digital filmmaking, died on April 5 of lung cancer at a Tokyo hospital. He was 82. Read the obituary
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Susan Anspach, shown alongside Jack Nicholson in “Five Easy Pieces,” was an actress who had several acclaimed film roles in the 1970s and 1980s. She died April 2 at her home in Los Angeles at age 75. Read the obituary
Ray Wilkins, left, an elegant midfielder who captained England’s national soccer team and played for illustrious teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea and AC Milan in a 24-year career, died on April 4 at 61. Nicknamed “Butch,” Wilkins played 84 times for England — captaining the team for 10 games. He also played for Rangers and Queens Park Rangers, among others, in a club career that ended in 1997.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela addresses a meeting in Kagiso township in April 1986. The ex-wife of South African anti-apartheid fighter and former president Nelson Mandela died April 2 in a Johannesburg hospital after a long illness at the age of 81, her spokesman Victor Dlamini said in a statement. Read the obituary.
Steven Bochco, a television writer and producer whose gritty police procedurals and courtroom dramas, notably “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law” and “NYPD Blue,” injected ambitious storytelling, quirky ensemble casts and occasional nudity into what was then a critically derided form of mass entertainment, died April 1 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 74. Read the obituary
Former Dutch politician Johan van Hulst saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis and was a Righteous Among the Nations. He died March 22 at the age of 107. Read the obituary.
H. Wayne Huizenga, a college dropout who built a business empire that included Blockbuster Entertainment, AutoNation and three professional sports franchises, died March 22 at his South Florida home. He was 80. Read the obituary
Charles Lazarus, who transformed his father’s Washington bicycle business into Toys R Us, a retail giant that rivaled Santa Claus’s workshop before it declared bankruptcy in September, died March 22. He was 94. Read the obituary
Betty Ann Bowser, a broadcast journalist who for decades was a regular presence on “PBS NewsHour,” died March 16 at a clinic near her home in Ajijic, Mexico. She was 73. Read the obituary
Les Payne, a longtime Newsday journalist who shared a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on global heroin trafficking and who helped expose the Tawana Brawley hoax, died March 19 at home in New York’s Harlem neighborhood. He was 76. Read the obituary.
Illustrator Robert Grossman, who created a surreal movie poster for “Airplane!” and caricatured presidents from Richard M. Nixon to Donald Trump, died March 15 at his home in Manhattan. He was 78. Read the obituary
Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, a folksy New York liberal who championed women’s rights and American manufacturing for more than three decades as a Democratic congresswoman, died March 16 at a hospital in Washington. She was 88 and the oldest sitting member of Congress. Read the obituary
Augie Garrido, a college baseball coach whose Zenlike coaching style, mixed with old-school profanity, led to five national championships and the most victories in his sport of any coach in history, died March 15 in Newport Beach, Calif. He was 79. Read the obituary
Stephen W. Hawking, the British theoretical physicist who overcame a devastating neurological disease to probe the greatest mysteries of the cosmos and become a globally celebrated symbol of the power of the human mind, died March 14 at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 76. Unable to move nearly any of his muscles, speechless but for a computer-synthesized voice, Dr. Hawking had suffered since the age of 21 from a degenerative motor neuron disease similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Read the obituary
Eugene Hughes, a former boxer and boxing trainer, drug abuse counselor, and founder in 1975 of a youth program of education and personal discipline through boxing, died March 12 at an assisted-living apartment in Washington. He was 80. Read the obituary
John Sulston, a Nobel Prize-winning British scientist who helped decode the human genome, died on March 6. He was 75. Read the obituary
Russ Solomon, whose company Tower Records helped invent the music megastore but was felled by the rise of digital downloads and growing competition from discount chains, died March 4 at his home in Sacramento. He was 92. Read the obituary
Propelled by an ever-lengthening stride and extraordinary willpower, the lanky British medical student Roger Bannister became the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes. He pitched over the finish line at the University of Oxford’s Iffley Road track on a dank, blustery day — May 6, 1954 — and electrified England during its post-World War II doldrums. Dr. Bannister, who died March 3 at age 88, became a national hero at a time when mavericks around the world were overcoming the long-perceived physical boundaries of man and nature. Read the obituary
David Ogden Stiers, who played Major Charles Emerson Winchester III in the TV series “M*A*S*H,” died on March 3. He was 75. Read the obituary
Cynthia Heimel, a humor columnist whose biting, ribald commentary on sex, romance and late-century womanhood was collected in books, died Feb. 25 at an assisted-living community in Los Angeles. She was 70. Read the obituary
Lewis Gilbert, a British filmmaker who directed World War II epics, three popular entries in the James Bond franchise and understated dramas centered on working-class characters, including the Oscar-nominated Michael Caine hit “Alfie,” died Feb. 23 in Monaco. He was 97. Read the obituary
Nanette Fabray, a Tony Award-winning Broadway actress and singer who later won three Emmy Awards in the 1950s as Sid Caesar’s comic foil on television, died Feb. 22 at her home in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. She was 97. Read the obituary
Scottish milliner John Boyd’s hats were worn by several members of the royal family, including Princess Anne and Diana, the princess of Wales. Boyd died Feb. 20 at 92. Read the obituary
The Rev. Billy Graham, the evangelist whose eloquent oratory and passion for Jesus attracted a worldwide following and made him one of the most influential and best-known religious figures of his time, died on Feb. 21 at his home in Montreat, N.C. He was 99. See more photos | Read the obituary
Peggy Cooper Cafritz, grande dame of the Washington arts and education scene, died at 70 on Feb. 18. Read the obituary.
African American history author and former Ebony magazine editor Lerone Bennett Jr. died in Chicago at age 89 on Feb. 15. Read the obituary.
Ruud Lubbers, the longest-serving prime minister ever of the Netherlands and a former U.N. high commissioner for refugees, died on Feb. 14. He was 78. Read the obituary.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the veteran Zimbabwean opposition leader who fought Robert Mugabe’s regime for many years, died on Feb. 14, after battling cancer. Read the obituary.
John “Tito” Francona, former Cleveland Indians outfielder and father of current manager Terry Francona, died on Feb. 13. He was 84. Read the obituary.
Marty Allen, fuzzy-haired member of popular 1960s comedy duo Allen & Rossi, died at 95 on Feb. 12 in Las Vegas. Read the obituary.
Vic Damone, a popular 1950s crooner and nightclub star, died Feb. 11 at 89. Read the obituary.
Tom Rapp, frontman for Pearls Before Swine, one of the most-enduring and eccentric groups of rock music’s late-’60s underground scene, died Feb. 11. He was 70. Read the obituary.
John Gavin, a Hollywood actor who served as U.S. ambassador to Mexico, died Feb. 9. He was 86. Read the obituary.
Jos Roozen, a horticulturist who dispensed gardening advice over the radio and co-owner of Roozen Nursery and Garden Center in Fort Washington, Md., died Feb. 8 at age 70. Read the obituary.
Joe Knollenberg, who represented suburban Detroit's Oakland County for 16 years in Congress, died Feb. 6. He was 84. Read the obituary.
John Mahoney, the Tony-winning actor who played a crotchety blue-collar father on TV’s “Frasier,” died Feb. 4 at 77. Read the obituary.
Wesla Whitfield, an intimate song stylist and interpreter of classic tunes, died Feb. 9 at her home in St. Helena, Calif. She was 70. Read the obituary.
Dennis Edwards, a Grammy-winning former member of the Temptations, died Feb. 1 at 74. Read the obituary.
Oscar Gamble, an outfielder who hit 200 home runs over 17 major league seasons and was famous during his playing days for an Afro that spilled out from under his cap, died Jan. 31 at a hospital in Birmingham, Ala. He was 68. Read the obituary.
Jacquie Jones, a prizewinning public television film director who for nine years was executive director of the nonprofit National Black Programming Consortium, died Jan. 28 at a hospital in Washington. She was 52. Read the obituary.
Ingvar Kamprad, 91, who was the founder of the worldwide furniture chain Ikea, died on Jan. 28. Read the obituary.
Claribel Alegría, a Central American poet who wrote of personal and political anguish, was 93 when she died Jan. 25 at her home in Managua. Read the obituary.
Mort Walker, whose “Beetle Bailey” comic strip followed the exploits of a lazy G.I. and his inept cohorts at the dysfunctional Camp Swampy, and whose dedication to his art form led him to found the first museum devoted to the history of cartooning, died Jan. 27 at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 94. Read the obituary.
Mark E. Smith of the band “The Fall” died on Jan. 24. Read the obituary.
The Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker was the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s chief of staff and was a major figure in the civil rights movement. He died on Jan. 23. Read the obituary
Renowned Chilean writer Nicanor Parra, who invented the “antipoem” and won the Cervantes Prize — Spanish-language literature’s highest honor — in 2011, died at 103 on Jan. 23. Read the obituary
Author Ursula K. Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who explored feminist themes and was best known for her Earthsea books, died Jan. 22, in Portland, Ore. She was 88. Read the obituary.
Billy Hancock, shown performing in 2003, died on Jan. 22. The rockabilly singer, guitarist and bassist was known for his outrageous stage presence. Read the obituary
Naomi Parker-Fraley was said to be the inspiration behind Rosie the Riveter. She died on Jan. 20. Read the obituary
Wendell Castle, who was considered the father of art furniture and is shown here in an undated photograph, died Jan. 20 at his home in Scottsville, N.Y. He was 85. Read the obituary.
Author Peter Mayle, the British author known for his books set in Provence, France, died in a hospital near his home in the south of France. He was 78. Publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced his death on Jan. 18. Read the obituary
Actor Rock Hudson and actress Dorothy Malone are seen in 1957 on the set of “The Tarnished Angels.” Malone, who won hearts of 1960s television viewers as the long-suffering mother in the nighttime soap opera “Peyton Place,” died Jan. 19 at 92. Read the obituary.
Julius Lester, who recounted African American history as well as his own personal story in noted works of literature, died Jan. 18 at 78. Read the obituary
CIA director Stansfield Turner is seen in his office at agency headquarters in Langley, Va., in 1977. He died on Jan. 18 at 94. Read the obituary
Jo Jo White of the Boston Celtics drives past the Chicago Bulls’ Wilbur Holland in Chicago in 1977. White, a Hall of Famer, two-time NBA champion and an Olympic gold medalist, died Jan. 16 at 71. Read the obituary.
Marlene VerPlanck performs at the Watermill Jazz Club in Surrey, England, in 1999. The vocalist, who recorded thousands of jingles for commercials before becoming known as a jazz singer and acclaimed interpreter of American popular song, died Jan. 14 at 84. Read the obituary.
Edwin Hawkins, 74, a Grammy-winning gospel star best known for the hit “Oh, Happy Day,” died Jan. 15. Read the obituary.
Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the Irish band the Cranberries, died Jan. 15 at age 46 in London. Read the obituary.
Doug Harvey, 87, one of only 10 umpires in the Hall of Fame, was held in such regard by major league players and managers that they called him “God.” Harvey died Jan. 13. Read the obituary.
Keith Jackson, the folksy voice of college football who for decades wove backwoods wit throughout his Saturday broadcasts on ABC, died Jan. 12. He was 89. His signature phrase was “Whoa, Nellie!” Read the obituary.
Denise LaSalle, a Hall of Fame soul and blues singer and songwriter whose earthy lyrics and sexually explicit stage patter made her an enduring presence in predominantly black clubs and theaters, died Jan. 8 at 83. Read the obituary.
Thomas Bopp, right, here with other comet hunters, from left, David Levy, Don Yeomans and Alan Hale, received a flurry of international attention and a form of scientific immortality from the Hale-Bopp comet that bears his name. He died Jan. 5 at age 68. Read the obituary.
Anna Mae Hays, chief of the Army Nurse Corps, being promoted to brigadier general by Gen. William Westmoreland in 1970. Hays, the first female general in American military history, died Jan. 7 at age 97. Read the obituary.
Ray Thomas, a British flutist and singer-songwriter who co-founded the Moody Blues, died Jan. 4. He was 76 and was scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his band mates in April. Read the obituary.
Jerry Van Dyke, left, the younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, right, struggled for decades to achieve his own stardom before clicking as the dimwitted sidekick in television’s “Coach.” He died Jan. 5 at age 86. Read the obituary.
John Young, NASA’s longest-serving astronaut, who flew in space six times, walked on the moon, commanded the first space shuttle and became the conscience of the astronaut corps, advocating for safety measures in the wake of the 1986 Challenger disaster, died Jan. 5 at age 87. Read the obituary.
Photo Gallery: Remembering those who have died in 2018.

Still, he maintained a particular affinity toward jaguars, which he often described as “an indomitable beast” — the title of a 2014 book about his conservation efforts surrounding the animal — and which had fascinated him since childhood.

Born in Brooklyn on Dec. 31, 1953, and raised in Queens, Alan Robert Rabinowitz recalled that as a boy, he was often taken to the Bronx Zoo by his father, a physical-education teacher who served as an Army paratrooper in World War II.

“I would always be drawn to this one cage, with a solitary jaguar,” he told National Geographic in 2014. “All the other cats would charge at the bars or vocalize. But the jaguar would mostly stay quiet, watching everybody pass by, in a world of its own. That’s the way I felt. So I would go to the bars, wait until nobody was around, and talk to the jaguar — tell it my hopes and dreams, whether it was a bad day at school or how stupid I felt people were because they didn’t try to understand me.

“And I would never leave that enclosure without promising the cats that if I ever found my voice, I would try to be their voice and help them,” he continued. “I had no idea what I would be in life or that I would ever work on jaguars. All I knew is that these cats made me feel whole. They were like me, trapped inside a cage not of their making.”

Dr. Rabinowitz overcame his stutter while studying biology and chemistry at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in Westminster, Md., where he graduated in 1974. At the University of Tennessee, he received a master’s degree in ecology in 1978 and a doctorate in ecology in 1981, focusing on the endangered gray bat before shifting his research to raccoons in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It was Schaller, who met Dr. Rabinowitz while visiting Tennessee, who suggested he begin studying jaguars in Belize. He soon received a fellowship from the Wildlife Conservation Society — then the New York Zoological Society — and came on as a researcher, with an office not far from the jaguar cage at the Bronx Zoo.

Dr. Rabinowitz wrote more than 100 scientific articles and several books for a popular audience, including “Jaguar: Struggle and Triumph in the Jungles of Belize” (1986) — published the same year he succeeded in establishing the jaguar preserve in that country — and “A Boy and a Jaguar” (2014), an autobiographical children’s book.

He was also featured in television programs including “60 Minutes” and in the 2015 documentary “Tiger Tiger,” which followed his travels to the Sundarbans, the vast mangrove forest on the border of India and Bangladesh. By then, he had been diagnosed with leukemia and had two children with his wife, the former Salisa Sathapanawath, a geneticist. (They were married at the home of actress Jane Alexander, whom he met while working in Belize; she now serves on Panthera’s advisory board.)

“I have two choices in my life now,” Dr. Rabinowitz said in the film. “I can play it very, very safe and sit at home, and maybe prolong my life by a few years and be there for my kids . . . Or I can be the person who I am, and who makes me feel best, and be the father I want them to know — but maybe cut my life short with them.”

“I’m really good at what I do, and the best thing I can do is be a model for them,” he said, explaining his reasons for leaving to make the expedition. “Not a bad father, but not an ever-present father.”

In addition to his wife, survivors include his children, Alexander Rabinowitz and Alana Rabinowitz, all of Mahopac, N.Y.; and two sisters.

At Panthera, which he formed with billionaire investor Thomas S. Kaplan, Dr. Rabinowitz oversaw projects including the Jaguar Corridor Initiative, which aims to protect jaguars across the full range of their native habitat, from Mexico to northern Argentina.

Last year, he began the Journey of the Jaguar, an expedition in which he planned to traverse the length of that habitat over four years, in chunks. After leading his team through the Mexican state of Sinaloa, despite security concerns from Mexican friends and colleagues, he was diagnosed with appendicitis and then pneumonia.

Dr. Rabinowitz was still “in recovery and out of shape,” said Howard Quigley, executive director of the Panthera jaguar program, when he rejoined his team to continue the trip in Honduras, Colombia and Brazil, ultimately covering about 4,000 miles of jaguar habitat.

“The Jaguar Journey will continue,” Quigley wrote in an email, with trips to Brazil, Mexico and the Colombian Amazon. “All of them will be to commemorate his legacy, the legacy of Mr. Jaguar, or Papa Jaguar, as the Latinos in our program call him.”

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Harrison Smith is a reporter on The Washington Post's obituaries desk. Since joining the obituaries section in 2015, he has profiled big-game hunters, fallen dictators and Olympic champions. He sometimes covers the living as well, and previously co-founded the South Side Weekly, a community newspaper in Chicago.

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Obituaries

Alan Rabinowitz, champion of leopards, jaguars and other wild cats, dies at 64

By Harrison Smith

August 7, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Alan Rabinowitz in Bhutan, inspecting tiger tree scratches. He co-founded Panthera, a conservation organization for wild cats. (Steve Winter/Panthera)

Alan Rabinowitz, a zoologist who overcame a debilitating stutter to become a powerful voice for leopards, jaguars and other wild cats threatened by humans, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in Manhattan. He was 64.

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