Forget Trump and Carson and Hillary and Bernie for a few minutes. There’s another vote happening right now: Help us name the only known jaguar in the United States.
This wild, free-roaming jaguar has been photographed more than a hundred times in the mountains less than 30 miles from downtown Tucson, Ariz. Although there may be others in the region, he’s the only one we know for sure is this side of the border.
He deserves a shot at survival – and he deserves a name.
This week the Center for Biological Diversity launched a nationwide vote to give this jaguar a handle. We’ve narrowed it down to five possible names (“Rito,” “Spirit,” “El Jefe,” Ohshad,” and “Spot”) but you can write in your favorite too. You can vote here.
Still not ready? Check out this short video and share it with your friends.
Jaguars have made their homes in the American Southwest for eons. In the past 20 years, they’ve been spotted in at least six mountain ranges in the United States — and as far north as the Grand Canyon in the past 100 years. But persecution, bad management, habitat loss and trophy hunting have driven them to the brink of extinction.
In 2014, after nearly 20 years of work and several lawsuits, the Center won 764,207 acres of protected critical habitat for jaguars in southern Arizona and New Mexico. The big cats finally have strong protection under the law, but there’s much more to be done to ensure they’re able to thrive in the mountains and canyonlands of the American Southwest.
The jaguar near Tucson is a trailblazer who most likely traveled hundreds of miles across the border from Mexico. He’s been roaming the Sky Island mountain ranges of southern Arizona for four years — he deserves protection and the chance to be joined by others.
He’s a special animal and ought to have a special name.
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