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New pictures released of jaguar in Chiricahua Mountains

Posted at 4:04 PM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-26 20:03:40-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a new glimpse into one of Arizona's most beloved and secretive animals.

"Sombra" is a jaguar who first crossed into Arizona from Mexico sometime in November 2016. Since then, he's only been spotted a handful of times in the Grand Canyon State. He was named by students at Paulo Freire Freedom School, University Campus, in Tucson.

On Friday, officials released new pictures from University of Arizona wildlife cameras in the Chiricahua mountains. The pictures were captured between March and September 2018.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, Sombra was once part of what's known to be the northernmost set of breeding jaguars in the world in northern Mexico. A female jaguar hasn't been spotted in Arizona since 1963, when one was killed.

Only two other jaguars -- both males -- have been documented in Arizona since 2015, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. One is believed to have gone back to Mexico in search of a mate, and the other was killed in 2018 who reportedly wound up in a hunter's trap in Mexico.

The footage of Sombra above was captured in 2017.