A jaguar spotted roaming the mountains of Arizona last year was spotted again this past summer, this time in a different area.
Named Sombra by the students at Tucson's Paolo Freire Freedom School, the jaguar was first spotted in November 2016 in the Dos Cabezas Mountains, some 100 miles north of the Mexican border. What appears to be that same jaguar was spotted over the summer of 2017 in the Chiricahua Mountains, roughly 40 to 60 miles southeast of the Dos Cabezas.
"This beautiful cat has now appeared in images taken seven months apart," Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement released with the video. "It seems that it's established residence in excellent habitat more than 50 miles north of the border, which is great news for jaguar recovery."
As the statement notes, jaguars' spots patterns are unique to each individual cat, much like fingerprints for humans. Biologists compared those patterns photographed in 2016 with those recorded this summer to confirm that it was, in fact, Sombra.
The footage also revealed that Sombra shares the Chiricahua Mountains home range with other animals, including an adult bear and a cub, deer, a mountain lion and a very rambunctious coati.
But it's the jaguar that has Serraglio the most thrilled, and understandably so.
"The really exciting part of all this is that we don't know yet what sex Sombra is," said Serraglio. "The possibility that it may be a female gives us a lot of hope that jaguars might jump-start their recovery in a region they've called home for thousands of years."