New Video Shows Wild Jaguar in Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity released a new video this week of a wild jaguar currently living in the United States, named “Sombra” by students of the Paolo Freire Freedom School in Tucson. Captured on remote sensor cameras in the Chiricahua Mountains of southern Arizona, the footage shows what appears to be the same jaguar photographed in the nearby Dos Cabezas Mountains in November 2016.
“This beautiful cat has now appeared in images taken seven months apart,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the Center. “It seems that it’s established residence in excellent habitat more than 50 miles north of the border, which is great news for jaguar recovery.”
“Our kids benefit from an educational philosophy that connects them to their world in a concrete and hands-on way,” said Tadeo Pfister, a science teacher at Paolo Freire. “They love studying these big cats, and it’s thrilling to know that they’re helping to shape a future that includes jaguars.”
The footage, shot this summer, is the first publicly released video of this jaguar. Individual jaguars’ spot patterns are unique, and biologists have compared the photographic evidence to determine that this is the same cat that was photographed last year by a camera maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.
“The really exciting part of all this is that we don’t know yet what sex Sombra is,” said Serraglio. “The possibility that it may be a female gives us a lot of hope that jaguars might jump-start their recovery in a region they’ve called home for thousands of years.”
Jaguars continue to move into Arizona from a small, vulnerable population in northern Mexico. Seven jaguars have been confirmed by photographs in the United States in the past 20 years, including most recently:
The jaguar named “El Jefe” by Tucson middle school students was photographed by trail cameras more than 100 times in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson between 2012 and 2015. Video footage of El Jefe released in February 2016 went viral and was seen by millions of people around the globe: