New video shows a wild jaguar in south­ern Ariz.

Yuma Sun - - NEWS -

WILL­COX — Wildlife con­ser­va­tion­ists have re­leased new video footage show­ing what is be­lieved to be one of three jaguars to be seen in the United States in the past few years.

The Cen­ter for Bi­o­log­i­cal Di­ver­sity re­leased the video taken this sum­mer on Thurs­day, say­ing the big cat was the same one first seen on cam­era in Novem­ber 2016.

The video also shows a black bear, deer, moun­tain lion, coati and black bear cub pass­ing through.

Con­ser­va­tion­ists think the re­cent sight­ings are ev­i­dence that the jaguar is re­turn­ing to the U.S. They’re su­ing to stop a pro­posed wall on the bor­der, which they say will de­ter jaguars who mi­grate from south.

The South­west was home to jaguars be­fore habi­tat loss and preda­tor con­trol pro­grams aimed at protecting live­stock elim­i­nated them over the last 150 years.

The Cen­ter for Bi­o­log­i­cal Di­ver­sity says it doesn’t know the jaguar’s gen­der. The two oth­ers that have been seen re­cently are both male, and state of­fi­cials have said it’s been decades since a fe­male was here.

The first jaguar to be re­cently seen, dubbed as “El Jefe” — Span­ish for “the boss” — popped up in the Whet­stone Moun­tains in south­east­ern Ari­zona in 2011 when he was about 3 years old. He was seen again in the Santa Rita Moun­tains south of Tuc­son around Septem­ber 2015.

A trail cam­era photo taken on Dec. 1 in a moun­tain range near Fort Huachuca, the Army in­stal­la­tion about 75 miles south­east of Tuc­son, cap­tured a sec­ond jaguar that was seen on cam­era again in Jan­uary.

In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice re­leased a photo show­ing the third jaguar wan­der­ing through the Dos Cabezas Moun­tains in Ari­zona about 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der. That same jaguar was spot­ted this sum­mer in the Chir­ic­ahua Moun­tains near Will­cox.

Around seven jaguars have been doc­u­mented in south­ern Ari­zona and south­west­ern New Mex­ico since 1996.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

THIS 2017 IM­AGE TAKEN FROM A RE­MOTE night video cam­era and pro­vided by the Cen­ter for Bi­o­log­i­cal Di­ver­sity shows a wild jaguar in Ari­zona.

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