A recently released video is causing a stir and a lot of excitement among conservationists and animal lovers alike. In the video, a jaguar moseys around a creek in Arizona. If that doesn’t sound impressive to you, then just take note of the fact that he is the only wild jaguar in the entire United States, and the lucky guy, as captured on film, is, so far, totally free to do his own thing.
While the jaguar captured on video might be a rarity for most folks in the United States, he’s not really anything new to the people of the Santa Rita Mountains where he lives and is seen frolicking in the video. No, the people of this area have been spotting the jaguar off and on for over three years now and have even given the big guy a name- “El Jefe,” which translates to mean “The Boss.”
The now-famous Jaguar is estimated to be around seven years of age, and he’s a true rarity. Though it may be commonplace for people in the Santa Rita Mountains, which are located near Tucson, to spot the massive cat, jaguars are actually quite rare, with only a few reported sightings over the past two decades and only one confirmed sighting- that being, of course, of El Jefe himself.
The video featuring the rare jaguar was both filmed and released by Conservation CATalyst, a foundation that seeks to aid in the welfare of wild animals, especially cats, and the environment as a whole. Its goal in releasing the video, a spokesperson said, was not to exploit El Jefe in any way but to simply bring awareness to the beauty and majesty of the jaguar and to hopefully get more people interested in supporting and protecting these majestic creatures.
And protection, indeed, seems necessary at this time, especially to those conservationists who care deeply about the jaguar. This particular jaguar, El Jefe, is currently a cause for concern since his natural habitat is reportedly about to be imposed upon by a suggested copper mine, set to be built in the area that he calls home. The mine, Rosemont Mine, has been underway for several years but hasn’t yet gotten the permits that it needs to go ahead with building, something many conservationists hope will never happen.
If the mine is built, it will take up about eight miles of the jaguar’s current home. Conservationists admit that that’s a pretty small amount of space and, thus, if the mine is eventually established, they’re planning to work carefully alongside federal agencies to ensure that the jaguar and other animals indigent to the area stay safe and protected through it all.
And, in the meantime, the organization that shot the original footage plans to keep on filming. In fact, it has installed several more cameras in the area and is reportedly getting more familiar with the cat’s lifestyle and routine. They’re also hoping that their cameras will spot more wild jaguars since they are reluctant to believe that El Jefe is the only one of his kind. Only time will tell if they’ll find more and what’s to become of El Jefe, but for now, the footage is pretty darn amazing to watch.