Video Surfaces of the Only Known Wild Jaguar in Arizona
News| | By Lauren Boudreau
Don’t be alarmed, but a real life, wild jaguar is living and roaming around the Santa Rita Mountains just outside Tucson, Arizona. This is not an escaped-from-the-zoo jaguar, so it’s safe to assume it’s been living up there for quite some time.
The jaguar was caught on video and put on Facebook by the Center for Biological Diversity. Apparently, they’ve spent three years trying to find this jaguar, as well as ocelots. According to CNN, Chris Bugbee, a biologist with Conservation CATalyst said, “We use our specially trained scat detection dog and spent three years tracking in rugged mountains, collecting data and refining camera sites; these videos represent the peak of our efforts.”
If you are wondering how in the heck a wild jaguar got to Tuscon, you wouldn’t be alone.
“Though incredibly rare, both jaguars and ocelots are native to Arizona and can still be found in the Arizona sky islands such as the Santa Rita Mountains,” Conservation CATalyst said in a Facebook post. In fact, this is the only currently known jaguar in the United States as they have all but disappeared over the past 150 years.
The big cat was named El Jefe, which means “the boss,” in a poll by Tucson school kids and others.
Although this is a big win for science and conservation, El Jefe is in danger.
According to a news release, “A Canadian mining company is pushing to develop a massive open-pit copper mine right in the middle of the big cat’s territory.” This means piles of “toxic mine waste” could destroy acres of El Jefe’s home.
“El Jefe has been living more or less in our backyard for more than three years now,” Bugbee said. “It’s our job to make sure that his home is protected and he can get what he needs to survive.”
Conservation CATalyst and the Center for Biological Diversity released new video today of the only known wild jaguar currently in the United States.Captured on remote sensor cameras in the Santa Rita Mountains just outside of Tucson, the dramatic footage provides a glimpse of the secretive life of one of nature’s most majestic and charismatic creatures. This is the first-ever publicly released video of the #jaguar, recently named ‘El Jefe’ by Tucson students, and it comes at a critical point in this cat’s conservation. Learn more here: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/jaguar-02-03-2016.html
Posted by Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, February 3, 2016