For about five years, Jason Miller has been setting up trail cameras deep in the Southern Arizona wilderness.

He has captured incredible wildlife videos: everything from bighorn sheep to bears, mountain lions, ocelots and even javelina giving birth.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: The man behind Southern Arizona’s impressive trail camera footage

But he says his latest find is the pinnacle: in late December, his trail camera in the Huachuca Mountains captured a jaguar. Arizona Game & Fish confirms this one has never been photographed before in the United States.

I was just over the moon about getting a jaguar, Milled told KGUN. But for it to be a brand new one, that no one has ever gotten on camera before in Arizona, thats mind-blowing.

I couldnt believe it. I still cant believe it… Its a needle in a haystack It’s the Holy Grail for me.

Its a moment Miller has been chasing for years.

Well when I got into trail cameras it was a few years after, I think it was El Jefe, was in the Santa Ritas. Who wouldnt want to try to get a jaguar on camera?

Miller named this jaguar Cochise.

Mark Hart with Arizona Game and Fish says its only the eighth unique jaguar spotted in the U.S. since the 1990s, and the first since 2016. The exotic big cats are known to move between Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. In 2022, El Jefe was spotted in Sonora for the first time in several years.

Hart says once an endangered animal like a jaguar is located, AZGFD suspends research in the area to avoid impacting the endangered animal.

You cant do anything to an endangered species, said Hart. You cant hunt it, obviously, kill it, or harass it in any way. You really cant track it. And thats why the trail camera technology is so valuable. Theyre being seen in their natural environment, moving about normally.

Congratulations to Jason Miller. He worked really hard to get that, those images. And hes provided us with the information we need to protect it.

Miller has been sharing his footage online with a growing Facebook group, and his YouTube channel ‘Jason Miller Outdoors,’ long before this milestone.

My wife and my daughter cant wait to see what I get when I come home, said Miller. Theres people that get that smile on their face like I do when I check my cameras Especially, you know, people that cant go out there and do it.

And if the jaguar wasnt enough, Millers cameras also recently caught the ocelot that he spotted last summer. Miller has no plans to slow down.

I actually do it more than my full-time job, he admitted. But its a passion and I love it. I cant get enough of it And now that I got a jaguar, I want another one.

Hart warns that using an attractant to lure an endangered animal is illegal, and that jaguars are almost as dangerous as a grizzly bear.

Trail camera operators should report similar finds to Arizona Game & Fish, without publicly disclosing the exact location of where the animal is spotted.

If you encounter a jaguar, make yourself big, make loud noises and throw objects to scare it away. People should call AZGF 623-236-7201. To report suspected crimes against wildlife, call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700.