A Second Jaguar in Southeast Arizona?

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A trail camera in Arizona recently captured what appeared to be a second confirmed jaguar near a Fort Huachuca trail in the Huachuca Mountains, however the Arizona Game and Fish Department has confirmed this to be incorrect. . Cochise District Boy Scouts of America posted the picture on their Facebook page on December 6th, which was then shared by the Center for Biological Diversity, and believed to be a second jaguar, after “El Jefe” (a.k.a. “The Boss”) a prior jaguar siting, was confirmed in the same vicinity.

A Second Jaguar in Southeast Arizona?

Photo: Wikimedia

In an email to staff, the Arizona Game and Fish Department have noted that this cat in fact, is “…the only jaguar currently in Arizona.” The first cat, video footage of which was posted by the Center for Biological Diversity in February of this year, has not actually been in the state since September of 2015. What this means, is that both jaguars were not within Arizona at the same time. The sightings were technically in 2 completely different mountain ranges, approximately forty miles apart, and at 2 completely different times, despite social media comments and posts. The third-largest cats behind lions and tigers (oh my!), jaguars at one time roamed freely throughout the southwestern United States but had vanished over the course of the past 150 years. Predator control programs and habitat loss are blamed for their disappearance from the region.

A Second Jaguar in Southeast Arizona?

Photo: Wikipedia

A representative of the Arizona Game and Fish Department have explained that there have been as many as 7 jaguars spotted in Arizona since 1996, however they have all been solitary males, and there hasn’t been a female jaguar reported in the state since at least 1963. Lone males visit the state in search of food and territory, however when they do not find females, they return south to Sonora, Mexico, where their potential mates reside. As a result of this recent photo evidence, US Department of Fish and Wildlife Service representatives worked with Arizona officials to verify the presence of the jaguar in the area, and a news release was sent out on December 15 confirming this individual cat to indeed be a male.

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