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Fleeting Wonders: America’s Only Jaguar Makes An Appearance in Arizona

El Jefe, America's last known jaguar, investigates the weird new gadget in his mountain home.

El Jefe, America’s last known jaguar, investigates the weird new gadget in his mountain home. (Screenshot: Center for Biological Diversity/Facebook)

It took years of planning, but the conservationist paparazzi finally nabbed footage of one of America’s most reticent celebrities: El Jefe, the country’s only known wild jaguar.

Conservation CATalyst and the Center for Biological Diversity released new video today of the only known wild jaguar currently in the United States.

Posted by Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

In a compilation video released yesterday by Conservation CATalyst and the Center for Biological Diversity, El Jefe prowls through a moonlit forest, expertly clambers over river rocks, and shows off his coat in the dappled afternoon sunlight. Experts finally captured this video after three years of camera site refining and the help of a jaguar scat-detection dog. All film was taken in Arizona’s Santa Rita mountains, where the cat spends much of his time.

As The Atlantic reports, El Jefe (Spanish for “the boss”) is “the only verified jaguar living in the U.S.” since the controversial death of his peer Macho B seven years ago. Long before that, jaguars roamed from California to Louisiana.

El Jefe, the last of the bunch, had been showing up on camera traps since 2013, but experts hope this new footage will help them learn more about their new neighbor. As the Center for Biological Diversity’s Randy Serraglio said, “Just knowing that this amazing cat is right out there, just 25 miles from downtown Tucson, is a big thrill.”

Till next time, El Jefe.

Till next time, El Jefe. (Screenshot: Center for Biological Diversity/Facebook)

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to