Jaguar Photographed in Central Mexico For the First Time in Over 100 Years

February 12, 2009

(ChattahBox) — The largest cat in the Americas is still roaming Mexico, scientists say.

Three photographs of a male jaguar are the first known evidence of the predator since the early 1900s.

The big cat was snapped by a camera trap in the Sierra Nanchititla Natural Reserve.

The jaguar, Panthera onca, is a New World feline and one of four “big cats” in the Panthera genus, along with the tiger, lion, and leopard of the Old World.  Larger males have been recorded at 159 kilograms (350 lb).

Jaguars have disappeared from much of Mexico as humans have chopped up their habitat and sometimes killed the animals for the illegal wildlife trade.

The elusive animal was photographed at 6,053 feet (1,845 meters), apparently forced to travel across higher ground, to avoid humans.

Photo: National Geographic


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