The United States' Only Known Jaguar Caught On Video In Arizona


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockFeb 4 2016, 19:28 UTC
1094 The United States' Only Known Jaguar Caught On Video In Arizona
Conservation CATalyst and the Center for Biological Diversity

The United States' only known jaguar has been captured on film for the first time ever.

The 41 seconds of footage is the product of three years of tracking by researchers from Conservation CATalyst and the Center for Biological Diversity. With the help of specially trained poop-detection dogs, the team managed to catch the footage on remote sensor cameras. The handsome loner was found in the Santa Rita Mountains, just 40 kilometers (25 miles) from downtown Tucson, Arizona. 


The male jaguar has been named El Jefe, which means “The Boss” in Spanish.

He is thought to be the last remaining jaguar in the United States since “Macho B” was compassionately euthanized in 2009. According to National Geographic, the nearest known population of breeding wild jaguars are over 200 kilometers (125 miles) away in Sonora, Mexico.

But despite the exceptionality of El Jefe, his home is facing a huge threat. The Rosemont Mine is a proposed copper mining project that will be built slap-bang in the middle of the jaguar’s range.


In an online statement, Chris Bugbee, a biologist at Conservation CATalyst, said, “The Rosemont Mine would destroy El Jefe’s home and severely hamstring recovery of jaguars in the United States.”

He added, “Clearly, the Santa Rita Mountains are a vital part of this cat’s home range. This jaguar has been photographed in every month of the year in these mountains – there are more than 100 detections of him in the Santa Ritas since 2013 – how could anyone argue the importance of these mountains?”


Conservation CATalyst and the Center for Biological Diversity released new video today of the only known wild jaguar currently in the United States.Captured on remote sensor cameras in the Santa Rita Mountains just outside of Tucson, the dramatic footage provides a glimpse of the secretive life of one of nature’s most majestic and charismatic creatures. This is the first-ever publicly released video of the #jaguar, recently named 'El Jefe' by Tucson students, and it comes at a critical point in this cat’s conservation. Learn more here:

Posted by Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • tag
  • big cats,

  • jaguar,

  • Wildlife conservation,

  • Arizona