U.S.'s only known wild jaguar caught on camera

Posted at 6:22 AM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 11:37:11-05

After decades of habitat destruction, predator elimination programs, and hunting, the United States is down to only one known wild jaguar. 

Called El Jefe, the animal lives in Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains.

For the very first time, the Center for Biological Diversity and Conservation CATalyst have released video of the adult male. 

Tracking and getting footage the elusive animal was years in the making. 

Finally, with the help of a scat-tracking dog, a camera was finally in the right place of the right time.  The release of the footage comes at a time when the animal’s environment is at risk of becoming a copper mine. 

Not only would the development compromise El Jefe’s habitat, it would likely hamper efforts to increase the U.S. wild jaguar population.

Said Randy Serraglio, a spokesperson for the conservation group, "The Santa Rita Mountains are critically important to jaguar recovery in this country, and they must be protected."