Living in the Santa Rita Mountains about 25 miles south of downtown Tucson Arizona is ” El Jefe”, a 7 yr. old Jaguar that’s been there for almost three years now. He is one of only five Jaguars to be spotted here in the U.S. over the past 20 years, and is the only wild Jaguar to be video documented in the country.
“El Jefe” is seen here roaming around a creek and other parts of a mountain range in southern Arizona in the first publicly released video of the giant cat.
Jaguars used to roam the Southwest, but they disappeared over the past 150 years because of habitat loss and predator control programs aimed at protecting livestock. A hunter shot and killed the last verified female jaguar in the U.S. in 1963 in northern Arizona.
“A lot of people have no idea that we have jaguars in the United States or that they belong here,” said Randy Serraglio of the Tucson-based environmental group. “In bringing this video, we hope to inspire people to care about these animals and support protection for their homes.”
All of the footage of El Jefe was done using 12 game cameras that have been set up around the 50 mile territory that the giant cat calls home. The Organization Conservation CATalyst, which is focused on the conservation of cats, is responsible for all the cameras and has plans for more in the future.
Apparently there are plans to build an open pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains that could effect El Jefe’s habitat. The proposed Rosemont Mine has been in the works for several years but is tied up in the permitting phase.