This Jaguar Was Shot Dead Shortly After Being Used In The Olympic Torch Relay
Seen here is a female jaguar named Juma alongside Brazilian physiotherapist Igor Simoes Andrade posing for picture during the Olympic Flame torch relay in Manaus, Brazil, on 20 June
Juma was shot and killed with a single gunshot after it escaped from its handlers shortly after it was paraded for the torch relay.
The reason Juma was exhibited, chained up, is because a jaguar known as 'Ginga' is the mascot for the Brazilian Olympic team.
The use of Juma, as the jaguar was known, at the event was also illegal, according to Ipaam, the Amazonas state government environmental authority that oversees the use of wild animals.
"No request was made to authorize the participation of the jaguar "Juma" in the event of the Olympic torch," Ipaam said in a statement. Ipaam said it is investigating the incident.
Following the lethal shooting of the jaguar, animal rights groups have called for restrictions on the showcasing of once-wild animals
Conservation groups condemned the incident and said wild creatures should not be used to glorify the military, the Olympics or any human activity.
“It should not have been at the event. I don’t think the jaguar is a good mascot, especially like this – chained up, like a trophy on display,” said Carlos Durigan, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Brazil.
He said it was fundamentally wrong to cage a large predator that would normally roam over hundreds of square kilometres.
Animal rights groups have condemned the killing, with some questioning why the animal was involved in the Olympic event.
"When will we learn? Wild animals held captive and forced to do things that are frightening, sometimes painful, and always unnatural are ticking time bombs," Brittany Peet, director of captive animal law enforcement at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said in a statement.
Olympics officials now say nothing of this sort will happen again
“We made a mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal," the organizing committee Rio 2016 said in a statement. "This image goes against our beliefs and our values. We guarantee that there will be no more such incidents at Rio 2016.”nationalgeographic.com
Juma had been raised since it was rescued as a cub and was kept in the military-run zoo in the Amazon with half a dozen siblings
Just before its escape, it and another jaguar had been exhibited as the Olympic torch crossing Brazil passed through the zoo on its way to Rio de Janeiro, which is hosting the Games due to start August 5.
"Unfortunately, this occurred the day of the torch's passage," Evelyn said. "The animal participated in the event because the torch went through the zoo."
He added that Juma was not a wild animal, having been raised in captivity, and called its death "very sad." The military has opened an investigation into the incident.