Rare Jaguar ‘El Jefe’ that roamed Arizona spotted across the border

A jaguar known as "El Jefe" is captured on a trail camera in Sonora, Mexico.  The cat was last seen seven years ago in the mountains outside of Tucson.

A celebrated jaguar that roamed southern Arizona’s mountains for several years before disappearing in 2015 has turned up more than 100 miles south in Mexico, conservation biologists say.

The Mexican nonprofit group Profauna said this week that the big cat known as El Jefe had been photographed in an undisclosed mountain location of central Sonora as part of the Borderlands Linkages Initiative. That program, involving several groups on both sides of the border and led by the Wildlands Network, monitors more than 150 motion-sensing wildlife cameras in the region.

El Jefe, or “The Boss,” named by Tucson middle schoolers, was photographed numerous times in the mountains south of Tucson at a time when he was the only confirmed jaguar roaming wild in the United States. Two other males have since been photographed in Arizona, though both later disappeared, one of them turning up poached in Mexico.