04 Feb 2016:
Only Known Wild Jaguar in
the U.S. Filmed in Arizona in Rare Video
"El Jefe" filmed roaming south of Tucson at night
of the only known wild jaguar still roaming the United States has been captured using remote sensor cameras in Arizona. The big cat, known by the nickname El Jefe
(“The Boss”), is one of only four or five jaguars spotted in the wild in the U.S. in the past two decades. El Jefe
is believed to live in the Santa Rita Mountains, about 25 miles south of Tucson. The footage was captured by Conversation CATalyst
, which has about a dozen cameras in the area where the jaguar lives. Notoriously elusive, the video footage is the product of three years of tracking. Healthy numbers of jaguars, the third largest cats after lions and tigers, once roamed the Southwest, but they all but disappeared about 150 years ago due to habitat loss and hunting, shot to protect livestock. Jaguars are now protected by the Endangered Species Act, although El Jefe
may be the last one in the U.S. The conservation group that captured the footage says the jaguar’s habitat is under threat from a proposed open-pit copper mine.
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