Another human screwup when using a wild cat for commercial purposes. A jaguar featured at an Olympic torch ceremony was shot dead by a soldier shortly after the event in the Brazilian Amazon city of Manaus as the animal escaped from its handlers, an army statement said.
“We made a mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal. This image goes against our beliefs and our values” (the local organising committee Rio 2016)
The jaguar was shot dead by a soldier soon after the event in the Brazilian city of Manaus. The jaguar escaped from his handlers we are told in an army statement. The cat was killed at a zoo attached to a military training centre which was the location for the Olympic torch ceremony.
A soldier fired a pistol shot at the Jaguar despite the fact that the cat was tranquillised. Trigger-happy I would say. And the disregard for a magnificent wild cat which was being used and abused at an Olympic ceremony. It’s a double screwup (A) abuse of a wild animal to enhance the Olympic ceremony and (B) shooting the said animal because they screwed up when trying taking care of it.
The committee said that there will be no more incidents like this at Rio 2016. I’m not sure I can believe that. As you can imagine the death of this Jaguar caused uproar amongst local animal rights groups and animal-rights groups worldwide.
We are reminded of the recent killing of a gorilla at Cincinnati zoo and then we have the killing of four alligators at Walt Disney World in Orlando; both recent events.
Does this point to a general flawed policy in our relationship with wild animals at commercial establishments?
Brittany Peet, the director of captive animal Law enforcement at PETA said:
“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-our actions put them and humans at risk.”
The Rio de Janeiro-based animal-rights group Animal Freedom Union posed the same question:
“When will people (and institutions) stop with this sick need to show power and control by confining, detaining and showcasing wild animals?”
The Jaguar’s name was Juma. It is said by the Amazonas state government environmental authority that using the Jaguar at the event was illegal as no request was made to authorise the participation of the Jaguar.
That makes three screw ups all in one; a triple whammy.