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A rare jaguar has been photographed in the Huachuca Mountains in southeastern Arizona, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports. The photo of the big cat was taken Dec. 1 by a remote trail camera on the Fort Huachuca Army installation near Sierra Vista, southeast of Tuscon.
Since the 1980s, there have been occasional jaguar sightings in Arizona by hunters and hikers. In 2009, a jaguar was caught in an Arizona Fish and Wildlife trap. The jaguar, named Macho B, was collared with a GPS tracking device and was estimated to be 15 to 16 years old. In 2011, a new male jaguar estimated to weigh 200 pounds was spotted roaming the Arizona Ski Island mountain ranges. Named El Jefe after a vote by Tuscon school children, he has been photographed more than 100 times by remote trail cameras in the Santa Rita mountains, less than 30 miles from Tucson.
Jaguars are larger than mountain lions and roar like African lions. They prey mostly on deer, and El Jefe has been documented taking down a black bear, according to an article in Smithsonian magazine.
Jaguars are a protected species under the Endangered Species Act and cannot be harmed or harassed. They are more prevalent in northern Mexico and are known to roam back and forth across the U.S. Mexican border to find habitat and prey. In 2014, the Fish and Wildlife Service finalized the designation of 764,207 acres as critical for the survival and recovery of jaguars in southern Arizona and a small portion of southwestern New Mexico. In 2006, there was a confirmed sighting of a jaguar in New Mexico’s boot heel area in a mountain range that extends into Mexico. There are several corridors where jaguars cross the U.S. Mexican border, said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, based in Tuscon. And efforts to extend the border wall would jeopardize the jaguar by restricting its habitat. “The wall is a huge concern,” he said. “Areas where the jaguar has crossed in the past have been walled off such as at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.”
originally posted by: shooterbrody
originally posted by: rickymouse
They can train the Jaguars to eat people who try to climb over the wall.
I was wondering if they were to be designated as threatened because their food source was soon to be shut off?
"One individual [animal] in the Southwest is not going to be a concern, but if the population does re-establish itself" it could become a problem, Quigley says. That's one reason the exact location of the most recent sighting has not been revealed.
The two cats seen in 1996, as well as the recent visitor, were all young males and had moved into the area from their normal habitat, which extends about 150 miles south of the border with Mexico.
The jaguar (Panthera onca) is a big cat, a feline in the Panthera genus, and is the only extant Panthera species native to the Americas. The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Americas. The jaguar's present range extends from Southwestern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Apart from a known and possibly breeding population in Arizona (southeast of Tucson) and the bootheel of New Mexico, the cat has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century.
originally posted by: seattlerat
a reply to: PraetorianAZ
I'm not into hunting, but I bet that was a nifty experience! What do you think about the possibility of someone shooting these animals for sport? I would guess that there would be a very hefty penalty, with the possibility of an extended vacation at Club Fed.
I don't know much about Javalina, but I frequently saw them around Tucson when I would go on my evening walks... aren't there restrictions or limits on hunting them? There didn't seem to be any shortage of them from my perspective, and I suppose they would make great bacon burgers for jaguars!
For those who don't know what a Javalinais: