- Cox Media Group National Content Desk
A rare sight was captured on video and released to the public Wednesday.
The Center for Biological Diversity said in a press release that the only known wild jaguar in the U.S. was seen romaing in the Santa Rita Mountains just outside Tucson, Arizona.
The center partnered with Conservation CATalyst to locate the big cat. The conservation group has been working for years to collect data on the jaguar.
The footage shows the jaguar, named El Jefe by Tuscon schoolchildren, walking along a brook and through wooded areas.
National Geographic reported that ranchers and farmers moving out west eventually took over the big cat's territory.
After the 1960s, there were no known female jaguars left in the U.S. The International Union for Conservation of Nature currently lists the species as near-threatened.
Conservationists used dogs to determine where to strategically place sensory cameras.
"We use our specially trained scat detection dogs and spent three years tracking in rugged mountains, collecting data and refining camera sites," Chris Bugbee, a biologist with Conservation CATalyst, said in the release. "These videos represent the peak of our efforts.”
“Just knowing that this amazing cat is right out there, just 25 miles from downtown Tucson, is a big thrill,” Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the center, said. "El Jefe has been living more or less in our backyard for more than three years now. It’s our job to make sure that his home is protected and he can get what he needs to survive."