Brazilian Army Kills Jaguar After Olympic Torch Ceremony

The Brazilian government considers the big cat to be endangered.

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On Monday, the Olympic torch passed through the Amazonian town of Manaus in northern Brazil. As part of the planned route through the town, the torch visited a military training camp where commandos brought out a jaguar named Juma from their zoo for a photo shoot. Things quickly went south after the photo was taken, though—the jaguar escaped its handlers and, well…

From Portal Amazônia:

A team of handlers, made up of specialist veterinarians, went to capture the jaguar. They shot the animal with tranquilizers, though this did not stop it from approaching a commando. The jaguar was shot down with a pistol to ensure the safety of the crowd.

(Reuters has video of the torch ceremony here.)

Portal Amazônia spoke with the governmental Institute of Amazonian Environmental Protection (IPAAM) who said they had been notified of the incident and were looking into the situation. Killing a jaguar, which the Brazilian government considers to be endangered, can lead to fines of up to 300,000 Brazilian reais ($90,000).

The Olympic mascot of the Brazilian team is a yellow jaguar named Ginga.

UPDATE: Local Olympic organizing committee Rio 2016 said in a statement that it “made a mistake” in displaying the torch next to a “chained wild animal.”

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