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Arizona Daily Star, November 2, 2015

Tucson students name America's only known wild jaguar
ByYoohyun Jung

 

America's only known wild jaguar, which lives about 30 miles outside of Tucson, is now called "El Jefe," which means "The Boss" in English.

Students at Felizardo Valencia Middle School, whose mascot is a jaguar, chose the name in a contest. The name is a tribute to the jaguar's role in the wild.

"Jaguar really is the king of the mountain," saidRandy Serraglio, a conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity.

The center educated the middle school students about the jaguar before they got to vote for name, he said. Some of the contenders were "Ohshad," a Tohono O'odham word for jaguar, Spot, Rito and Spirit.

"One of the main reasons we undertook the naming contest was to let people know that this beautiful cat is living right in our backyard in Tucson," Serraglio said.

El Jefe has been photographed more than 100 times by trail cameras in the Santa Rita Mountains, according to the center.

"If were going to protect these animals, its very important for people to learn more about them," he said.

 

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Star.

This article originally appeared here.

Jeffrey pine photo by John Villinski.