Photo Provides Evidence of Jaguars in the Wild

spectr17

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February 6, 2002

Photo Provides Evidence of Jaguars in the Wild

From Times Wire Reports

A jaguar was photographed by a motion-activated camera set out in southern Arizona to monitor potential jaguar corridors near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The photo shot in early December gave state game officials new evidence that jaguars, the biggest cats in the Western Hemisphere, visit the southern part of the state and may even live there.

"It is great to know that jaguars are roaming our borderlands, at least occasionally," said Brad Van Pelt of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Jaguars were last documented in Arizona in 1996 in the Baboquivari Mountains west of Tucson and in the Peloncillo Mountains near San Simon.

 
 

Brotherwolf

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I heard about this on Paul Harvey!  I'd like to see the photos!!
 

Tominator

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I think the border patrol put them there due to lack of funding for human patrols.
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spectr17

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Jaguar captured on film in southern Arizona

Associated Press

Feb. 05, 2002


Associated Press

A jaguar, captured in this motion-activated camera photo by Arizona Game and Fish along the border in southern Arizona, gives new evidence that the animal visits or even lives in the area.


TUCSON - A jaguar was photographed by a motion-activated camera set out in southern Arizona to monitor potential jaguar corridors near the U.S.-Mexico border.


The photo shot in early December gave state game officials new evidence that jaguars, the biggest cats in the Western Hemisphere, visit the southern part of the state and may even live there.

"It is great to know that jaguars are roaming our borderlands, at least occasionally," said Brad Van Pelt of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. "We will continue to monitor the area to see if the animal is a transient or attempting to establish a territory."

Jaguars were last documented in Arizona in 1996 in the Baboquivari Mountains west of Tucson and in the Peloncillo Mountains, along the New Mexico state line near San Simon, Ariz.

Biologists believe the two 1996 photos and the one shot in December captured three separate cats.

The game department isn't revealing the location of the latest sighting to protect the big cat, which is a young male weighing around 175 pounds. I

A team of biologists hopes more photos will help pinpoint the jaguar's location. Officials would like to capture one, attach a collar with a radio transmitter, then return it to the wild and monitor its movement.

Arizona is believed to be at the northern end of the jaguar's historic range, which once covered nearly all of Latin America.

The closest known population to Arizona now is 135 miles south of Tucson, deep in the Sierra Madre of Mexico, according to game officials.

Conservation groups that want to see the jaguar repopulate the American Southwest were delighted by the new photographic evidence.

"The fact that jaguars are still making it as individuals back to their old habitat means there's hope for eventual recovery," said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity's Silver City, N.M., office.

Robinson said his group's first priority is to stabilize the remaining jaguar populations in Mexico - which are threatened by habitat loss - and to assess what land on both sides of the border is suitable for jaguars.

"We're not pushing reintroduction at this time," Robinson said, "but everything should be on the table."
 

Tominator

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enough sarcasm. Wow, that things nice! What to do when that puts the sneak on your deke?
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hucklburry

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WHy did they even put the quotes from the "conservation groups" in the article? Like those people placed cameras out to get evidence, or any or action.

The G&F found the evidence, and the bills are covered by hunters and fishermen.

Sorry, little rant. Cool use of the cams though, eh?  The cat does look well fed.

--Jim
 

Welby

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Amazing!  I love to see and hear about stuff like that.

A few years ago, we caught a woodchuck, or ground hog, and called Mississippi State to ask them what to feed it.  They said ground hogs do not exist in Mississippi, although our description of the animal that I was holding in my hand (very carefully) at the time perfectly matched their own description and every reference photo we could find for ground hogs.  They still denied that we had a ground hog, but couldn't offer any suggestion otherwise to what the animal could be.  Since then, nearly everytime I drive by a big patch of kudzu, I see one of them big ol' boogers peeking out of the vines or running across the road.

In addition to that, the fabled black panthers have been spotted around here, although it's been probably ten years since I have heard of a sighting.  Although I have never seen one, I know three people personally who have seen the animals for themself, one being my brother.  All three people said the cats were huge and black as coal.

The landowner that has the property where most of the sightings have occurred even testified to a frightening experience of accidentally walking in between a female and her kittens one night at the back of his farm.  He said they were all clearly "very black and the mother was very big".

Yet, all the "experts" and written reference material will tell you that black panthers do not exist, at least in the U.S. anyway.  They say the only black cat of that size is a South American jaguar.  If that is so, then why have so many been seen over the years in certain areas?

Now, there are some of the regular panthers around.  These are the more common brown cougar, similar to a mountain lion (or they may be the same thing).  There are not very many, but they are here.  I have some silicon casts in my office right now that were taken from the footprints of an adult cougar just the year before last.  This cat has been seen many times.

Yet, the experts would probably say he doesn't exist here either and that we are mistaken.
 

Welby

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Well, it looks like everybody over at the Missouri Conservation Cafe whooped the fire out of that black panther mystery....

Now, as I said, I HAVE NEVER PERSONALLY SEEN ONE...BLACK, BROWN, OR OTHERWISE.  But, I have heard from those who say they did.

I too find it strange that there are no photos, no roadkill, no videos nor other records to support their existence.  I must admit that I was even skeptical of my own brother's claim to have seen one...who knows - maybe he mis-identified what he was looking at?  He is, however, a seasoned outdoorsman.  Maybe I should ask him about it again, perhaps a little more detailed.

I would love to believe they exist, and perhaps to an extent, I already do.  But, I am also a person that demands proof.  Conventional wisdom tells me that no, they do not exist...around here anyway.

I know there are at least a few of the cougars around here, as I mentioned before about the casts that are in my office right now.  These were taken from the footprints of an adult panther that is well known around a certain little community in west Alabama.  This cat actually walked across the porch of a cabin that was being built for my employer's mother.  He/she tracked red clay all over her porch before wandering a trail through the red mud back to the trees.  Her son-in-law who was working up there the next day used what was left in his tube of silicon to make the casts.

I have never seen one, but I believe I heard one once.  One screamed at me a and a friend of mine when we were camping out in some old growth timber near a swamp in northwestern Louisiana.  And I realize without actually seeing it that IT COULD HAVE BEEN A BOBCAT, NOT A PANTHER.  But, panther sightings in that area were not uncommon, as were bobcat sightings.  Regardless, I will never forget the sound of that scream....or the door I ripped off that tent as I dashed outside.

A panther is one of those things I long to catch a glimpse of.  And if I see one, especially a black one, you can bet your boots that I am going to tell you about it.  Maybe I'll even get pictures.
 

Bald Eagle

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Back in 1986 I was on a business trip to Cape Girrardou (Sp?) MO and one day we had some time to kill so we went to the Trail Of Tears State Park along the Mississippi River.  I was driving and as we crested a small rise in the road we saw a large black cat in the middle of the road about 30 yds. in front of us.  It made a quick exit into the woods but all three of us guys in the car all guessed that it had to weigh at least 100 lbs.  Man it was beautiful - shiny black with a very long tail.
 

bat

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hmmmmm Black Panther pictures, sounds like a good challenge.  A friend of mine told me the other day he had seen one twice close to his house. (about two miles across the creek from me).  Next roll of film...might be a good time to try to catch something really good on Camera.  They say they are not in South Ga. either but he says he has seen one twice and I saw one many many moons ago back in the ''good ole days''.
 

Gator

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I saw 3 together about 2 years ago.  They were not black, but they were beautiful one was and adult and the other 2 were about half grown.  This was in NW FL. I am sure there are some in GA because the FL game and fish comm brought some Texas Cougars in (which by the way are exactly the same as a Fl Panther except for their genetic code) and turned them loose in the Oceola National Forest to hopefully breed with the Panthers. Panthers have a 400 to 800 sq mile range depending on wether it is a male or female.  So really one could be found anywhere in the Southeast.
 
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