A jaguar featured in an Olympic torch lighting ceremony was shot dead today after escaping its handlers. The animal was being exhibited during the Manaus, Brazil ceremonies, and was being housed in a zoo attached to an army training center.
According to reports, the jaguar approached a soldier after the ceremony, although it was still tranquilized. The soldier shot the animal and killed it.
As expected, the incident is only one of the many, prompting criticism from animal rights groups and individuals. Officials are investigating the incident and whether the display was even legal, as there were no permits for such a display.
“We made a mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal,” the organizing committee 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.”
This incident is just the latest in animal killings that have made headlines around the world. Two lions were killed in Chile last month after a suicidal man jumped into their enclosure. And earlier this month, in the United States, a gorilla was killed after a child fell into its zoo habitat. These incidents have led more people to question how animals are kept in captivity and how we can ensure their safety in the future.
Photo Credit: PHOTOGRAPH BY JAIR ARAUJO, DIARIO DO AMAZONAS, AFP