Possible Second Arizona Jaguar Photographed
December 13, 2016 at 5:54 am
This photograph from a trail camera at Fort Huachuca may show only the second jaguar known to be living in Arizona. | Arizona Game and Fish Department
A Fort Huachuca trail camera recently snapped a photo of what may be the second jaguar known to be spending time in Arizona.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department said in a news release last week that preliminary analysis of the photo indicates the jaguar to be a male. Until now, only one jaguar, also a male, was known to be living in Arizona — or anywhere in the U.S., for that matter. That jaguar, known as "El Jefe," has been photographed in the Santa Rita Mountains, northwest of Fort Huachuca, the U.S. Army installation where the recent photo was made.
A representative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the jaguar photographed could potentially be a new jaguar. The service is working with Game and Fish to determine whether that's the case.
As discussed in the April 2014 issue of Arizona Highways, predator control programs in the 1900s all but removed jaguars from their U.S. habitat.
Randy Serraglio, a conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity, welcomed the news of a possible second jaguar sighting. “We’ve been expecting another jaguar to pop up in southern Arizona for some time now," he said in a news release, adding that “jaguars will keep returning to southern Arizona to repopulate their ancestral homelands."