Aug 15, 2022
Scientists and animal lovers are celebrating the return of “El Jefe.” He's a rare northern jaguar. Cameras in the Mexican state of Sonora snapped pictures of the cat last year. Officials recently confirmed that the jaguar is the famous animal. His name means "The Boss" in Spanish.
El Jefe was first spotted in 2011 in Arizona. He became a symbol for those hoping to protect wildlife along the US-Mexico border. Many feared that jaguars were hunted to extinction in the area. It's been seven years since he was last seen. That raised similar concerns. Now, though, El Jefe's appearance has brought back hope that efforts to protect the environment have worked.
“The reappearance of El Jefe … is a sign that … habitat connectivity persists between Arizona and Sonora …,” said a program director at Wildlands Network, a conservation group.
Walls have been built on the US-Mexican border. They are supposed to control human immigration. However, the walls make it harder for the big cats to follow their usual hunting routes. The jaguars struggle to escape danger and to find mates.
Still, “El Jefe” has found his way. That's a sign, perhaps, that others can do the same.
University of Arizona and United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
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