Olympic Jaguar Shot Dead After Being Paraded At The Torch Ceremony
A single pistol shot ended the life of an Olympic jaguar.
After being paraded in chains at the Olympic ceremony held in Manaus, Brazil, a female Jaguar named Juma was shot dead.
According to the Army spokesperson, Juma escaped her handlers and tried to attack a soldier. Despite shooting the big cat with four tranquilizer darts, the wild animal was not pacified, leaving them with no choice but to fatally shoot it.
— PETA (@peta) June 21, 2016
Jaguars, being known as solitary animals that hunt alone, are not compatible with big and rowdy crowds such as in the Olympics.
BBC conducted an interview with University of Brasilia animal behavior scientist Joao Paulo Castro who further emphasized that the jaguar should have not been there in the first place.
"It's neither healthy nor advisable to subject an animal to such a situation, with lots of noise and people," he told BBC.
"Often, jaguars already are stressed by being kept in captivity, that's only compounded when they're exposed to hubbub," he added.
Being a hunter and a predator, keeping jaguars in captivity will stress them out. As noted by Jaguar Defenders, they need large areas to survive and successfully reproduce.
In Brazil, jaguar is listed as threatened with extinction by IBAMA (The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) .
The local committee which allowed the use of Juma as a prop in the parade has apologized and promised to investigate the jaguar's death.
According to the NPR's translation, the message read:
"We were wrong to allow the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity among peoples, to be displayed next to a chained wild animal... This scene is contrary to our beliefs and values... We guarantee that we will not see more situations like this in the Rio 2016 Games."
Still, activists are condemning the use of a wild animal in such situation. Videos posted on social media sites show the jaguar chained down between two soldiers during Monday's ceremony.