Scientists confirm jaguar in Huachuca Mountains an individual not seen before in AZ

Updated: Dec. 14, 2016 at 12:26 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Scientists with the Arizona Game and Fish Department have confirmed that the jaguar seen in photos taken by a trail camera in the Huachuca Mountains is one that has never been seen before in the state.

According to a news release from Game and Fish, five scientists working independently compared spot patterns with images of another jaguar seen most recently in the Santa Rita Mountains and concluded they are different individuals.

"While recognizing the importance of finding a new jaguar in Arizona, it is also important to point out that this animal, like all other jaguars observed in Arizona in at least 50 years, is a solitary male and that the closest breeding population of this species is about 130 miles south of the International Border,"  Jim deVos, assistant director for Wildlife Management at Game and Fish, said in the release.

This newest jaguar was captured on camera the evening of Dec. 1. Previously, the most recent camera sighting of a jaguar was in September 2015. Before that last sighting, that jaguar was photographed hundreds of times in a three-year period.

READ MORE: Jaguar seen on Fort Huachuca trail camera

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