TUCSON (CN) – The only wild jaguar known to be living in the United States appeared on video for the first time late Wednesday, strolling along a stream through the forested Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson.
The footage was captured by Chris Bugbee, a biologist with the group Conservation CATalyst.
Bugbee operates remote sensor cameras in the mountains about 25 minutes from Tucson, and has been collecting data on endangered cats in Southern Arizona for three years.
“Studying these elusive cats anywhere is extremely difficult, but following the only known individual in the U.S. is especially challenging,” Bugbee said in a statement. “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.”
Several photographs by remote sensor cameras and lucky hunters have been taken of jaguars in Southern Arizona over the years, but this is the first publicly released video of one living north of the U.S.-Mexico Border.
Known to researchers as “El Jefe,” – the boss – he is the only jaguar known to be living in Arizona since Macho B., a male, was euthanized in 2009 after being injured during a capture-and-collar attempt.
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