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Watch Rare Encounter: Largest Jaguar Ever Recorded in Arizona

Image by Ramon Vloon via Unsplash

In the jungles of South America, a majestic big cat roams – the jaguar. And one particular jaguar stands out among the rest, setting a record as the largest ever recorded in the wild.

The Colossal Record-Breaker

Image by Benni Fish via Pexels

A male jaguar has set the record for largest jaguar recorded at a staggering 328 lb (149 kg), according to researchers at the University of Florida. That’s the equivalent of the weight of a professional football player. This is in stark contrast to the average size of jaguars, which is between 126 and 300 lb (57–136 kg).

The Jaguar Kingdom

Image by Chuttersnap via Unsplash

Jaguars, scientific name Panthera onca alustris, are the third-largest big cat species, behind lions and tigers. These magnificent creatures primarily inhabit the dense forests of South America and Mexico, occasionally venturing into the far southwestern regions of Arizona in the United States. Jaguars, solitary by nature, prefer dwelling near water sources, using large trees for shade and rest. Their distinctive golden-yellow fur adorned with unique rosette patterns makes them instantly recognizable.

Masters of Adaptation

Jaguar, Jaguar appearance
Image by Bibake Uppal via Unsplash

They boast impressive physical characteristics, equipped for both stealth and strength. Muscular bodies, large skulls, and powerful jaws define their formidable appearance. Their hunting prowess is unmatched, demonstrated by a diverse diet that includes over 89 recorded species. Despite their fearsome reputation, they rarely pose a threat to humans, choosing to avoid encounters whenever possible.

Jaguars vs. Their Big Cat Cousins

Jaguar (Panthera onca palustris) female, Piquiri River, the Pantanal, Brazil.
Jaguar (Panthera onca palustris) female, Piquiri River, the Pantanal, Brazil. By Charles J. Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Jaguars, often mistaken for leopards, distinguish themselves through geographical location. While leopards roam Asia and Africa, jaguars exclusively inhabit the Americas. Size-wise, they fall between leopards and the giants of the feline world, tigers, and lions. Cross-breeding between these species has occurred in captivity, resulting in rare hybrids like the jaglion.

The Battle for Survival

Jaguar, Jaguarhunting
Image Jaguar by Daley Van De Sande via Unsplash

Despite their impressive stature, they face the grim reality of endangerment. Classified as near-threatened, these magnificent creatures endure habitat loss, illegal hunting, and diminishing prey availability. Once commonplace in the United States, they are now a rare sight, with conservation efforts focusing on protecting their habitats and minimizing human impact.


YouTube video
‘El Jefe’: Famous southern Arizona jaguar spotted for first time in 7 years, Source: Youtube, FOX 10 Phoeni

While challenges persist, hope remains with an estimated population of around 60,000. It is a call to action, urging humanity to join hands in preserving the enigmatic beauty of the largest ones and ensuring their existence for generations to come.

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Saturday 6th of April 2024

Wonderful story 🌺

Friday 16th of February 2024

We need a dedicated sky island in Az and maybe NM for these rare and magnificent cats. the periphery could be monitored by rangers or an animal rights group. And there needs to be several areas open at the border for their egress.

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