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El Jefe, the adult male jaguar repeatedly photographed in the Santa Rita and Whetstone mountains years ago, has turned up again in central Sonora, conservationists say.
Two photos of a jaguar the groups say is the cat known around Tucson as El Jefe, were captured in November 2021 by the Mexican nonprofit group Profauna, a conservation group announced in a news release Wednesday. It took some time after that to confirm that the photos were of El Jefe. But a biologist working for the Tucson-based Northern Jaguar Project said in the release that she’s convinced they’re of the same animal that was photographed near Tucson from 2012 through 2015.
That conclusion came from visual analysis and software analysis of spot patterns of photographs, said Juan Carlos Bravo, Conservation Programs Director of the Wildlands Network. This would be the first time El Jefe’s location has been publicly confirmed since the cat was last photographed in the Santa Ritas.
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Jaguars have historically existed across Arizona. Maintaining wildlife corridors and keeping habitats intact for this far-ranging iconic species are essential, argues researcher. (The Conversation)