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Apology from Rio 2016: Amazon Jaguar Shot dead at Olympic Torch Ceremony

The jaguar was earlier tranquilized and was killed by a single gunshot from a soldier after it escaped from handlers

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Brazilian Jaguar shot dead in Rio Olympics 2016. Image source: Brazilian Army
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  • A tranquilized jaguar was utilized in an Olympic Torch Ceremony on Tuesday, June 21
  • The jaguar was shot dead by a soldier to save his life after it escaped from handlers
  • The jaguar is an endangered species in the Americas

Rio 2016 organizers issued an apology on Tuesday, June 21, after a jaguar that featured in an Olympic torch ceremony was shot dead in the Amazonian city of Manaus.

The jaguar, which had earlier been tranquilized, was killed by a single gun shot from a soldier after it escaped from handlers, the Brazilian army said in a statement.

The army said the soldier had been forced to shoot the animal to protect himself from being mauled, Xinhua reported.

“We made a mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal,” 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.”

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Brazilian mascot, Ginga. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

The jaguar, named Juma, was the real-life version of Brazil’s Olympic team toy mascot, known as Ginga.

Animal rights groups questioned why Juma was used in the ceremony. Moments before being fatally wounded, the animal featured in photographs alongside the Olympic torch while shackled by chains.

“When will people (and institutions) stop with this sick need to show power and control by confining, taming and showcasing wild animals?” Brazilian animal rights group Animal Freedom Union said on Facebook.

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According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the jaguar is an endangered species in the Americas. It’s population has fallen by 30 per cent since the mid-1980s.

Ipaam, Brazil’s Amazonas state environmental authority, said it had launched an investigation in the incident.

“No request was made to authorize the participation of the jaguar ‘Juma’ in the event of the Olympic torch,” Ipaam said in a statement.

-prepared by Saurabh Bodas (with inputs from IANS), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    As jaguars are endangered in America, the RIO 2016 should’ve avoided using it for the torch ceremony as there could’ve be many unwanted things happening

  • devika todi

    recently, i’ve read many articles that complain about the harmless killing of many endangered animals. what has this world come to?

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Thousands Of Live Animals, Meat, Ivory, Seized In Illegal Trade: Interpol

The live animals recovered in the stings included turtles in Malaysia and parrots in Mexico

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In this photo taken in May 2018 in Ecuador and provided by Interpol on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Ecuadorian police officers inspect a bird of prey.
In this photo taken in May 2018 in Ecuador and provided by Interpol on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Ecuadorian police officers inspect a bird of prey. VOA

Thousands of live animals along with tons of meat, ivory, pangolin scales and timber were seized in a monthlong global crackdown on the illegal wildlife trade that Interpol said exposed the international reach of traffickers.

The live animals recovered in the stings included turtles in Malaysia and parrots in Mexico. Canada intercepted 18 tons of eel meat arriving from Asia. Those arrested included two flight attendants in Los Angeles and a man in Israel whose house was raided after he posted a hunting photograph on social media.

Operation Thunderstorm, involving 92 countries, yielded seizures worth millions of dollars during May, Interpol said Wednesday.

“The results are spectacular,” said Sheldon Jordan, Canada’s director general of wildlife enforcement.

Acknowledging the magnitude of the problem, Jordan said global wildlife crime is worth about $150 billion annually and is fourth in value among illegal global trades behind drugs, counterfeiting and human trafficking.

Criminal syndicates that smuggle flora and fauna often take advantage of porous borders and corrupt officials, transporting illicit cargo at an industrial scale.

The Thunderstorm swoop included the confiscation of 8 tons of pangolin scales, half of which was found by Vietnamese authorities on a ship from Africa.

Africa’s four species of pangolins are under increasing pressure from poachers because of the decimation of the four species in Asia, where pangolin scales are used in traditional medicine.

Animals
Animals, Pixabay

A total of 43 tons of contraband meat – including bear, elephant, crocodile, whale and zebra – 1.3 tons of elephant ivory, 27,000 reptiles, about 4,000 birds, 48 live primates, 14 big cats and two polar bear carcasses were also seized. Several tons of wood and timber were also seized.

China, the world’s largest ivory consumer, banned its domestic trade starting this year in what conservationists hope will relieve pressure on Africa’s besieged elephant populations. While some herds are recovering, a high rate of killing continues in many areas, such as Mozambique’s Niassa reserve.

Some 1,400 suspects were identified worldwide, Interpol said. Two flight attendants were arrested in Los Angeles carrying live spotted turtles to Asia in personal baggage, said Interpol. Both suspects have been charged with smuggling protected species.

Participating nations were from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America. The Pacific nation of Vanuatu, which is not an Interpol member, took part.

Officers searched cars, trucks, boats and containers, sometimes using sniffer dogs and X-ray scanners.

Also read: Thanks To Human Activities, For Making Animals Night Owls

The operation, Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock said, showed that wildlife traffickers use the same routes as other criminals, “often hand-in-hand with tax evasion, corruption, money laundering and violent crime.” (VOA)