Jaguar and Ocelots: Seeing Spots in Arizona

What happens when an exciting wildlife sighting gets national media attention? Increased reports of rare wildlife? A sudden interest in that creature? Leave a comment to let us know what reactions you commonly get in your state.

The exciting wildlife sightings of this week are jaguars and ocelots in Arizona. There has been plenty of national coverage, including this article in the New York Times. The Times article dutifully notes that the Arizona Game and Fish Department has reassessed one of those ocelot sightings, and now believes it was a serval (Leptailurus serval), an African cat popular in the pet trade, or possibly a serval hybrid.

Here’s AZGFD’s press release on the jaguar sighting. And here’s a backgrounder on jaguars in Arizona.

Here’s AZGFD’s press release on the most recent ocelot sighting. And here’s the press release reassessing the ID.

Photo: An Arizona Game and Fish Department wildlife manager investigates a jaguar sighting. Courtesy of Arizona Game and Fish Department

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