Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Video shows only known wild jaguar in US at home in Arizona mountains

The big cat, known as ‘El Jefe’, has been living in 25 miles south of downtown Tucson – half a century after the last verified US jaguar was killed by a hunter

Associated Press in Tucson, Arizona
Wednesday 3 February 2016 21.31 GMTLast modified on Thursday 4 February 201615.53 GMT

The only known wild jaguar in the United States is seen roaming around a creek and other parts of a mountain range just south of Tucson, Arizona in the first publicly released video of the big cat.

 “El Jefe” – Spanish for “the boss” – has been living in the Santa Rita mountains 25 miles south of downtown Tucson for over three years, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

El Jefe is about seven years old and is the only documented wild jaguar in the country. He is one of only four or five jaguars that have been spotted in the US in the last 20 years.

“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 Center for Biological Diversity. “In bringing this video, we hope to inspire people to care about these animals and support protection for their homes.”

Conservationists say El Jefe’s habitat is threatened by a proposed open-pit copper mine in the Santa Ritas. The proposed Rosemont mine has been in the works for several years but is tied up in the permitting phase. A spokeswoman for the company that owns the mine, Hudbay Minerals, said she was working on a statement on Wednesday.

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