Video of the only known wild jaguar in the United States has been released. The big, spotted cat was caught on video roaming its home in the Santa Rita Mountains, just south of Tucson.
Chris Bugbee is a biologist with the non-profit Conservation CATalyst. Bugbee has been documenting the jaguar named El Jefe, or the boss, for several years.
He has been working with Center for Biological Diversity. El Jefe is six to seven years old, male and weighs about 160 pounds.
"100 photos and videos of him, we were picking him up in every month of the year, all summer and all winter. The Santa Rita range is where he calls home," said Bugbee. "We are using remote sensor trail cameras. The point is to gather data what he is doing, how far he is moving and how he using the habitat in Arizona."
"To see this jaguar exhibiting natural behaviors in the wild is a really thrilling glimpse into what is normally a secretive and cryptic animal," said Randy Serraglio with the Center for Biological Diversity.
Bugbee thought it was an important time to show videos of El Jefe.
"The reason we are releasing some of the footage now is there is a big looming threat to the Santa Rita Mountains in the form of an open face copper mine, which will seriously compromise the jaguar’s home range," said Bugbee.