There was a jaguar sighting in Arizona recently. That’s rare but not unheard of, and at first glance it reads like a typical animal wandered out of its expected range story. But there’s a sub-plot here, and that secondary story involves hunters, who have discovered the jaguars, and how they’ve handled it.
Arizona Game and Fish received the report on Saturday morning from an experienced hunter using dogs to hunt mountain lions. The dogs pursued the animal and treed it 15 feet up in a mesquite tree, and the hunter was able to obtain photographs and video.
After photographing the jaguar, the hunter quickly left the area with his dogs and observed from a distant point. The jaguar remained in the tree for about 15 minutes and then headed south.
The agency says that four of the last five confirmed jaguar sightings in Arizona have been reported by hunters, who all took responsible action to document the animal, report it to Game and Fish, and remove their dogs from the area once the animal was identified as a jaguar. These hunters have provided biologists with critical information that may not otherwise be known, information that will help increase the understanding of the species’ existence in the borderland area.
These hunters all had the opportunity to shoot first and ask questions later. Instead, they took the time to fully identify the animal their dogs had treed, and did the right thing. Good for them.