- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona officials have confirmed that a wild jaguar spotted on a southern Arizona trail camera is new to the area.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department said on Wednesday it has completed the analysis of the jaguar in the Huachuca Mountains near Fort Huachuca southeast of Tucson.

Animal conservationists have hailed the new jaguar as a sign that the giant cat could repopulate here in the future after disappearing from the area decades ago.

But Game and Fish says the jaguar is a solitary male and the closest breeding population is about 130 miles away. A female jaguar hasn’t been spotted in Arizona in decades.

Another jaguar, dubbed “El Jefe” by conservationists, was spotted on camera in a different mountain range in that region last year but hasn’t been seen since.

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