A jaguar has been shot dead in Brazil, shortly after appearing in a torch relay ceremony to promote the upcoming Olympics. The animal, called Juma, had been photographed with the flame as it passed through a zoo in the Amazonian city of Manaus. Soon after the event finished, the jaguar escaped her leash and tried to attack a soldier. Four tranquiliser darts failed to slow Juma down, prompting the soldier to fire the single pistol shot which killed her.
We made a mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited along a chained wild animal. This image goes against our beliefs and our values.
Rio Games organising committee
The committee organising this summer’s Rio Games said they were “very unhappy” that the 17-year-old animal, who had been raised in captivity since she was a cub, had died. Local government officials have said it was illegal for the jaguar to appear at the event altogether, and are launching an investigation into the incident. Animal rights groups have condemned Juma’s death, and questioned why she was involved in the torch relay event in the first place. The Rio-based Animal Freedom Union wrote on Facebook: “When will people (and institutions) stop with this sick need to show power and control by confiding, taming and showcasing wild animals?”