Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, May 17, 2016

Contact: Randy Serraglio, (520) 784-1504,

Tucson Mural Honoring America's Only Known Jaguar to Be Unveiled May 19

TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity will unveil a stunning, 20-foot-long jaguar mural Thursday at an event at Borderlands Brewery in Tucson. The painting, by local artist Kati Astraeir, is a tribute to El Jefe, America’s only known jaguar, who lives just outside of Tucson.

Jaguar mural

Mural of a jaguar by Tucson, Ariz., artist Kati Astraeir. Photo by Russ McSpadden, Center for Biological Diversity. This photo is available for media use.

The jaguar artwork is the seventh in the Center's endangered species mural project, which places art in communities across the country to foster a stronger connection with local imperiled species. The other murals in the project are the monarch butterfly in Minneapolis; the mountain caribou in Sandpoint, Idaho; the Arctic grayling in Butte, Mont.; the watercress darter in Birmingham, Ala.; and separate murals of the gray whale and yellow-billed cuckoo in Los Angeles.

What: Public reception and unveiling of the Center’s jaguar endangered species mural, including live music, locally brewed beer and more

Who: Artist Kati Astraeir and Center staff will be available in the outdoor beer garden at Borderlands Brewery to answer questions about the mural, the endangered species mural project and the need to protect America’s only known jaguar, El Jefe, who roams the mountains southeast of Tucson.

When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 19

Where: Borderlands Brewery, 119 E. Toole Ave., Downtown Tucson

Media Availability: Center staff and others will be available for interviews before, during and after the event.

In October the rare cat was named “El Jefe,” which means “the boss” in Spanish, after a vote by Tucson school kids and others. The Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity has been working for decades to save jaguars in the United States, with the hope that El Jefe will soon be joined by more jaguars that wander up from Mexico. In 2014 the Center secured more than 750,000 acres of federally protected critical habitat for U.S. jaguar recovery.

Jaguars — the third-largest cats in the world after tigers and lions — once lived throughout the American Southwest, with historical reports on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the mountains of Southern California and as far east as Louisiana. Jaguars have disappeared from their U.S. range over the past 150 years, primarily due to habitat loss and historic government predator-control programs intended to protect the interests of the livestock industry. The last verified female jaguar in the country was shot by a hunter in 1963 in Arizona’s Mogollon Rim.

Learn more about the Center's Endangered Species Mural Project and check out footage of El Jefe released earlier this year.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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