Arizona jaguar? Photos show rare big cat near Tucson.
Arizona jaguar is seen in photos roaming the mountains southeast of Tucson. Federal wildlife officials provided the photos of the rare Arizona jaguar to the Arizona Daily Star in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
US Fish and Wildlife Service/AP
New photographs show that a rare male jaguar apparently has been roaming in Southern Arizona mountains for at least nine months, indicating the animals are occasionally moving into their historic range from northern Mexico and into the American Southwest.
The Arizona Daily Star reports (http://bit.ly/12rLi2b ) that remote cameras have photographed the big cat in five locations in the Santa Rita Mountains' eastern flank on seven occasions since October. Those photos were taken for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by University of Arizona cameras after a hunter gave state authorities a photo of a jaguar's tail that he took last September in the Santa Ritas.
The images were provided to the Star this week by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
Federally financed remote cameras photographed the jaguar west of the proposed Rosemont Mine site in the mountains southeast of Tucson.
It is the only jaguar known to live in the United States since the 15-year-old cat known as Macho B died inArizona in March 2009.