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Jaguar, ocelot spotted again in southern Arizona mountains

These file photos show a jaguar spotted in southern Arizona mountain ranges
This file photo shows an ocelot spotted in southern Arizona mountain ranges
Posted at 11:07 AM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 00:18:59-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Two rare wild cats were spotted again in southern Arizona last month.

According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, a wild male jaguar was photographed in the Chiricahua/Dos Cabezas mountains on Jan. 6. The department says it's the same jaguar that's been photographed multiple times in the area since 2016.

The AZGFD also says an ocelot was photographed on Jan. 14 in the Huachuca Mountains, and is the same ocelot spotted in the region since 2012.

Since 1996, only seven jaguars have been spotted in the U.S. -- southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife officials believe the animals migrate across the border to Sonora, Mexico, where the nearest breeding population of jaguars is located.