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Move over, El Jefe: Footage of rare ocelot, Lil’ Jefe released

TUCSON – Move aside El Jefe, your little brother is taking center stage.

On Monday, the Conservation CATalyst released a new video of Lil’ Jefe, an extremely rare and endangered wild ocelot living near the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.

Officials say this video is the first trail camera footage capturing an Arizona ocelot released to the public. Similarly to the ocelot’s jaguar counterpart, El Jefe, Lil’ Jefe or the Boss-elot was named by young TUSD students.

The name was overwhelmingly selected by Manzo Elementary students in tribute to the jaguar.

Naming of Arizona's Ocelot – Lil' Jefe (a.k.a. ‘the Boss-elot’) by Manzo Elementary

Students at Manzo Elementary in Tucson, Arizona named one of the rarest cats in the United States, an endangered Sonoran ocelot residing in the mountains of southeastern Arizona. The name Lil' Jefe (a.k.a. ‘the Boss-elot’) was overwhelmingly selected. This is the first time an American ocelot has been officially named.

Posted by Conservation CATalyst on Monday, 4 February 2019

Lil’ Jefe currently calls the mountains of southeastern Arizona as his home range. He has been photographed in the last five years.

For more information about the rare cat, visit

Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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