El Tigre

A trail camera somewhere in the Huachita Mountains of SE Arizona recently captured a candid selfie of a jaguar. Though not uncommon in the Amazon Basin of South America and still clinging precariously to a niche in the Sierra Madre, there are no known breeding populations of the big cats north of the border.  The one snapped in the Huachitas is apparently a mature male, which roam further from home than the females, and almost certainly a visitor from Mexico. The largest felines in the Americas and close relatives of tigers and lions, mature jaguars can weigh more than 200 pounds and measure six feet from nose to the base of the tail. They’re “stalk and ambush” predators with powerful jaws who have been known to take down an 800-lb. bull and drag it away.  Beautiful animals, but not one you would want to meet on a hiking trail at night.


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