Many of the animals that were abundant in the American frontier are now pretty much endangered. And if we’re to go by what Ubisoft tried to tell us in Assassin’s Creed 3, it’s all the fault of a single Native American turned assassin. But some animals managed to escape Ratonhnhaké:ton blood lust, as proven by the fact that the sole US wild jaguar El Jefe was spotted in Arizona.
El Jefe, the lone jaguar
Responsible for the sightings was the group known as Conservation CATalyst, which set a bunch of motion triggered cameras around the area where El Jefe usually hangs out. The group partnered up with the Center for Biological Diversity in order to monitor endangered species throughout Arizona’s mountain ranges.
The only known wild jaguar living in the United States, El Jefe pretty much has the Arizona mountain ranges to himself, except for other medium to large felines and their prey. The video feed showed him lurking up a creek and through the bushes, showing no signs of being bothered.
El Jefe, not to be confused with Bruce Campbell’s character Ash Williams is the Starz show “Ash vs. the Evil Dead”, was thusly named as the result of a poll performed by the Center for Biological Diversity in October. It was chosen by the local school children, which decided to name the jaguar ‘the boss’ because of his lonesome and careless nature.
Being a jaguar, El Jefe is quite solitary; and this would have been the case even if there were other members of his species in the wild. He is believed to have travelled about 130 miles in order to get to Arizona.
Wild cats in Arizona
In the 1800s, Jaguars roamed the United States from California to Texas, and even all the way east to Louisiana. The creatures’ habitat slowly dwindled as a result of ranching and farming, and they were placed on the endangered species list in 1972, even triggering a conservation effort.
Other big cats that call the area home are ocelots (which are also endangered), bobcats, and mountain lions. Despite their rarity, Arizona is one of the very few places where multiple big cats can live together off the naturally occurring prey.
The fact that two endangered felines and two other large ones manage to live in the Arizona mountain ranges together without getting in each other’s way and without running out of food has managed to give the conservationist groups some measure of hope that maybe their venture will end in success.
Image source: Youtube