Ocelots are roaming Arizona!  

The Sky Island Alliance photographed an ocelot in southern Arizona in November or 2009.  And in April of 2010, an ocelot was run over by a car between Gaan Canyon just east of Oak Flat Campground and Top Of The World, Arizona. According to a recent article in the latest issue of the High Country News, the Arizona Game & Fish Department thinks that this ocelot was not captive breed and therefore presumably a free roaming wild ocelot.  In addition to the ocelot kill on US Highway 60, there have been several sitings of ocelots within the Oak Flat Campground itself since April of 2010.  The Arizona Game & Fish Department is working with the US Fish & WIldlife Service and the US Forest Service to investigate these sitings.

It has been known for some time that the Oak Flat ecosystem (containing Gaan Canyon, Apache Leap, Queen Creek Canyon, and Oak Flat Campground) is ecologically unique, but the high probability of ocelots in the area is yet another reason to not rush into passage of the Oak Flat land exchange and to make sure that Rio Tinto goes though the normal process of trying to permit a mine rather than taking a Congressional shortcut.