Zapatos Explorer of the Borderlands

In 2019, a new jaguar was photographed on the Northern Jaguar Reserve. We named him Zapatos and soon learned that motion-triggered cameras across Sonora had seen him before.

This jaguar was previously photographed between 2008 and 2011, followed by an eight-year gap with no records of his whereabouts. Thanks to these images, we know Zapatos is the second-oldest jaguar documented in the northern range after Macho B.

2011 photo courtesy of Rancho El Aribabi / Sky Island Alliance

We also know a little about the places Zapatos has roamed and that prior to his arrival on the reserve, he had traveled more than 130 miles. His story is one of resiliency, longevity, and wanderings over a great distance.

Zapatos on the Northern Jaguar Reserve, 2019

At different points in time, Zapatos and an Arizona jaguar known as Yo’oko were spotted in the same area of Sonora. Sadly, Yo’oko was killed in 2018, not far south of the U.S.-Mexico border. But Zapatos survived.

2010 photo courtesy of Rancho El Aribabi / Sky Island Alliance

Zapatos then found his way to the safe haven of the reserve and Viviendo con Felinos ranches, where we welcomed him to celebrate a life of endurance.