There are approximately 15,000 jaguars left in the wild—and only one of them is known to live in the U.S. Recently, conservationists released a video of the elusive cat known as “El Jefe” strolling through the Santa Rita Mountains, about 25 miles outside Tucson, Arizona.
The footage comes courtesy of two conservation groups: Conservation CATalyst and the Center for Biological Diversity, which tracked El Jefe for three years and finally managed to capture him in motion. El Jefe had been previously photographed via remote sensor camera, but never filmed until now.
The groups have determined that El Jefe is an adult male in peak condition. Typically, male jaguars like El Jefe can grow up to six feet long and weigh as much as 250 pounds. Despite its size, a cat like El Jefe can exist largely unseen due to the species' solitary lifestyle.
Most wild jaguars live in the jungles of Central and South America, although they were once common throughout the southern U.S. Arizona was also recently home to another wild jaguar named Macho B, who was euthanized in 2009 following injuries sustained during capture. Since Macho B's death, El Jefe is the only remaining animal of his kind in the United States. Now, you can see him in action via the above video clip.
All photos courtesy of iStock.
[h/t NBC News]