Forestry Department seeks help in locating jaguar poachers

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Posted: Sunday Aug 4, 2019 7:03 PM CST.

By BBN staff: The Forestry Department is asking the public for information leading to the apprehension of the person (s) responsible for the brutal killing of a jaguar in the Stann Creek district.

Oscar Ulloa, forester – Savannah Forest Station, told Breaking Belize News (BBN), the department received a call on the morning of Friday, August 2, informing them of the jaguar’s death. They found his body around 10 a.m. near the Georgetown Bridge on the highway just between Georgetown and the village of San Roman. The animal had been shot and its fangs torn from its mouth.

Ulloa noted that jaguars are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, Chapter 220 of the laws of Belize, making it an offense to kill them. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Forestry Department at 533-3014 or 822-1524.

While fangs or other parts of a jaguar are valuable on the black market, it is noteworthy that every jaguar killed brings the species one step closer to extinction. An article published earlier this year on EcoWatch noted that experts estimate that there are around 15,000 jaguars left on Earth.

In May, photos of a decapitated jaguar began circulating on social media. It met with great public condemnation and private sector entities came together to offer more than $ 10,000 as a reward for the capture of the perpetrators, but ultimately no one was brought to justice for the incident.

Likewise, a headless jaguar floated near the Manatee Lookout restaurant in 2018 and a headless jaguar floated in a Belize City canal in December 2017.

BBN joins the Forestry Department in condemning the heinous act.

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