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A male jaguar has roamed the Santa Rita Mountains' eastern flank for at least nine months, photos obtained from the federal government show.
The remote cameras have photographed the big cat in five locations on seven occasions since October.
Three times, the federally financed remote cameras photographed the jaguar immediately west of the proposed Rosemont Mine site in the mountains southeast of Tucson.
The photos were taken for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by University of Arizona cameras as follow-up after a hunter gave state authorities a photo of a jaguar's tail that he took last September in the Santa Ritas.
The sightings next to the mine site were at roughly the same location where the earlier jaguar tail photo was taken, wildlife service officials said. Other photos ranged from two to 15 miles from the mine site.
The photos were provided to the Star this week by Fish and Wildlife in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. All were taken at night of the nocturnal beast. They show the jaguar, an endangered species, running, walking or standing in rocky, grassy terrain.
This is the only jaguar known to live in the United States since the 15-year-old known as Macho B died in Arizona in March 2009.