The cat's tail is barely visible on the right side of the photo. (Ariz. Game & Fish Dept.)
TUCSON, Ariz. -
Arizona Game and Fish officials are analyzing a recent trail camera photo of either a jaguar or ocelot sighted southeast of Tucson.
They say the photo was taken Sept. 23 and submitted by a sportsman. It includes only the tail and a small portion of a hind quarter of the animal, making positive identification more difficult.
Game and Fish is consulting with outside experts about the photo to better identify the species.
"We have definitively determined that it is either a jaguar or an ocelot, but we need to do further analysis of the animal's spot patterns and size to try to positively identify which species it is," said Game and Fish Nongame Branch Chief Eric Gardner.
Four of the last five confirmed jaguar sightings in Arizona have been reported by hunters.
Sportsmen also provided Game and Fish with two sets of trail camera photos of an ocelot in Tucson's Huachuca Mountains last year.
Jaguars have been protected in the United States since 1997. Ocelots have been under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1982. The Associated Press contributed to this report.