An Amazon jaguar that was featured at an Olympic 2016 torch ceremony was shot dead by a soldier a short while after the event as it escaped from its handlers. The event took place in the Brazilian Amazon city of Manaus.
Amazon Jaguar Killed After Olympic Torch Ceremony
Killing of the Juma:
According to the army, the jaguar was killed on Monday at a zoo which is attached to a military training center where the ceremony was held. Although the animal was tranquilized, it approached the soldier who fired a single shot at the animal which killed him. The jaguar was named the Juma.
Permitting the Participation of the Jaguar was a Mistake:
The local organizing committee of Rio 2016 stated that they made a mistake in giving the permission of conducting the Olympic torch ceremony which is a symbol of peace and unity to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal. It said that the image goes against their beliefs and their values. The committee guaranteed that there would be no more such incidents at Rio 2016.
Jaguars are a threatened species and are near extinction. They have been eradicated in many Central American nations. According to the local environmental authority organizers of the ceremony had not sought any permission to use the jaguar in the Olympic Torch. It said that no request to authorize the participation of the jaguar in the torch ceremony was made to the authority.
Uproar Among Animal Rights Groups:
The local and international animal rights activists have protested the move. The shooting has caused uproar among animal rights groups. They pointed to the killing of a gorilla at a Cincinnati zoo that occured recently and also the alligators at Walt Disney World in Orlando. They say it is an evidence of flawed policy towards wild animals. Many raised a question as to why the animal was involved in the Olympic event.