After being wiped out throughout the southern United States almost a century ago, jaguars have begun to return to their original range, starting with Arizona. Biologists with Arizona Fish and Game were trying to gather information on black bear populations within the state when they came upon the last thing they expected to find – a male jaguar in the wilds of Southern Arizona. Not inclined to pass up such an opportunity, the researchers tagged and collared the animal to learn more about it’s activities, and the collar is already paying dividends

Not only is it terrific news for jaguars, it gives hope to everyone hoping to see concrete evidence of big cats, like the Eastern Cougar, returning to their traditional ranges. Because as anyone whose been watched by one will tell you, these are tremendously impressive, scary and beautiful creatures, and it’s nice too know they’re out there.