Lil' Jefe, Arizona's only known ocelot, has been separated from his family by the border wall

An adult male ocelot affectionately nicknamed "Lil' Jefe"—the only known ocelot currently living in Arizona and one of only five that have been spotted in the state since 2009—was caught on camera earlier this month in the Huachuca mountains of southern Arizona, about five miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. Wildlife officials at the Arizona Game and Fish Department believe this is the same ocelot who has been photographed in the same area more than 160 times since 2012, because it has the same distinctive markings on its fur. provides more information about Lil' Jefe: 

Protecting his habitat is key, said Conservation CATalyst executive director Aletris Neils.

"Lil Jefe continuing to live and thrive in the Huachucas demonstrates how important the southern Arizona sky islands are for wildlife," she said.

The ocelot was last caught on camera in October. Based on the number and the timing of the sightings, Game and Fish biologists believe the ocelot has spent his entire adult life in the United States and "never returned to Mexico to breed," [Arizona Game and Fish Department spokesman Mark] Hart said.

Neils said the beefed-up barrier along the border is making that journey impossible.

"Lil' Jefe is one of the last ocelots in Arizona, cut off from most other ocelots by the construction of a border wall between the US and Mexico," she said. "The wall has bisected almost perfectly what has long been the terrain of male ocelots occurring in Arizona from the terrain of female ocelots, most of them concentrated about 40 miles south, on the other side of the border."

Poor Lil' Jefe. I wish he could get back across the border and be with the other ocelots. He's just one more victim of the border wall. Read more about Lil' Jefe here.