Arizona Game and Fish employees have become the first ever in the United States to capture a wild jaguar.
The gorgeous, spotted cat in this picture was captured southwest of Tucson and quickly released with a satellite tracking collar. The cat weighed 118 pounds and was in good health, says the news release linked above.
As we mentioned in a recent post about Lucero, the captive jaguar from Mexico now at the Phoenix Zoo, the cats have long been known to roam north of the border. Lovers of wild animals raved about a surveillance photo of one them taken a few years ago.
Now, because of the tracking system, researchers are about to learn a whole lot more about how these magnificent creatures move through our state.
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The biologists involved with the capture had been in the area to check on mountain lion and black bear habitats, but the state agency has long had a contingency plan in case field researchers spotted a jaguar. Though the species is endangered, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had granted Arizona a permit to collar a jaguar if they stumbled upon one. From the news release:
are currently working on an identification analysis to determine if the
collared jaguar is Macho B, a male cat that has been photographed by
trail cameras periodically over the past 13 years.
Ah, there's nothing like bedding down outdoors in Arizona's backcountry and hearing the throaty roar of a jaguar.
Does that sound mean it's hungry, by the way?