New Jaguar Sighted in Arizona

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 25th, 2011

More than two years after the demise of the country’s only known wild jaguar, wildlife enthusiasts got some good news when a southern Arizona hunting guide saw another one — an adult male.

It was the first confirmed sighting of the endangered cat in the U.S. since the other jaguar, known as “Macho B,” died, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has confirmed a hunter’s report of a jaguar southeast of Tucson. Officials say they’ve collected hair samples from the area for possible DNA testing.

The report (1) was received Saturday morning, November 19th, from an experienced hunter using dogs to hunt mountain lions.

Donnie Fenn was mountain lion hunting in Cochise County last weekend with his 10-year-old daughter and a friend when Fenn’s hound dogs sped out of the canyon they were searching, he told the paper.

“Then, I was about 200 yards from a tree they were barking under, but I couldn’t yet see what was there,” Fenn said. “I pulled my camera out, zoomed in, and I could tell right away it was a jaguar. It was big and spotted.”

Fenn, 32, immediately called state officials to report the sighting. Then the jaguar leaped out of the tree and Fenn’s dogs gave chase.

“I’ve seen a lot of lions treed up and stuff, and I’ve been in a lot of pretty hairy situations, but I’ve never experienced something like this,” Fenn told the Daily Star. “The roaring and growling. It was quite unreal.”

The animal climbed about 15 feet up a tree, and the hunter was able to obtain photographs and video before leaving the area. Based on the images, biologists believe the jaguar is an adult male that appeared in good, healthy condition and weighed approximately 200 pounds. Four of the last five confirmed jaguar sightings in Arizona have been reported by hunters.

The new encounter gives hope that jaguars might still be frequenting the Southwest.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

4 Responses to “New Jaguar Sighted in Arizona”

  1. choppedlow responds:

    This is so exciting, but sad at the same time. Just like everything else that deals with the (southern) wilderness in our state, it is turning into a trash dump from the illegals. South of Tucson, the desert has an estimated 2000 metric tons of trash alone (8 ponds of trash left on average per illegal). We were hunting Mt Lions in the southeastern part of the state, and was told by the border patrol to “play it safe, hunt anywhere but here, and be armed”. Sad. The most fragile ecosystems in our country are now dumps, and no one even talks about it. I know this is about a Jaguar in our state, and I know of one person who glassed one, but the animals in our state like the Mules, Javalina, Bear, and even the Mt Lion have been forced out of their territories by tens of thousands of people who give zero thought to the creatures who rely on the land. And for those who think there might be a Bigfoot or two roaming the forests and low lands of Southern Arizona, I think at least one of the 200,000 people who sneak across per year would have had an encounter. And that would spark a rumor amongst them that would spread faster than the 20 wildfires they set already! (PS, Im Hispanic, but I’m American!)

  2. responds:

    I agree this is totally exciting. Here’s what gets me. This guy is mountain lion hunting with his 10 year old daughter. Then he spies a treed Jag and, instead of getting his daughter the heck out of there, he pulls out his camera.

  3. Cryptoraptor responds:


    “The most fragile ecosystems in our country are now dumps, and no one even talks about it.”

    No one talks about it because there would be potentially very harmful racist labels thrown at any public official who would publicly mention such things.

    Even you felt a need to couch your statements by mentioning that you are Hispanic.

  4. airgunner responds:

    I have spent the bulk of the past three years working in SW New Mexico. This jag in Arizona is far from the only jaguar in the United States. He is only the latest one documented with a photograph.

    Fortunately, these cats are occasionally observed. While I was never so fortunate as to have seen one, many of my co-workers have, including one who spotted a jaguar while walking his dog in a residential neighborhood.

    I have also heard first-hand accounts of encounters with melanistic jaguars.

    Even the much-discussed border fence has gaps in it to allow passage of these great cats.

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