Baby Jaguar found headless; $10,000.00 for information

Belizeans are in an uproar after a baby jaguar was found headless in the Belize Manatee River near Manatee Lookout. When found by the Wildlife Conservation Community, the jaguar was seen with several gunshot wounds to its body. The jaguar measured 24 inches from shoulder to rump with a girth of 23 inches. Today, the Government of Belize, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration, issued a press release, in which GOB, and we quote, vlcsnap-2018-01-12-15h45m00s111 vlcsnap-2018-01-12-15h45m05s397 vlcsnap-2018-01-12-15h45m09s177

“…expresses regret and alarm over the massacre of a young male jaguar found floating in the Belize River on January 10, 2017.” End quote. This is the second such incident in recent weeks where dead jaguars were found floating in waterways in or near Belize City, but the first in which the Jaguar was seemingly abused, having its head cut clean off. The press release goes on further to state that,

“The Ministry reminds the public that it is illegal to hunt, kill or sell endangered cat species such as jaguars, margays, ocelots, and pumas. The public is asked to report wildlife crimes to the Forest Department. Such crimes will be investigated and persecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” End quote. A reward of $10,000.00 has been issued by the Ministries for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons involved in the two recent jaguar killings. The Ministries will also raise the penalty of such crimes, stating in the press release that, and we quote, “Given the cruel nature of the death of the animals, the endangered status of the species, the importance to the environment and economy, and the respect Belizeans have for their wildlife species, the Ministry will raise the penalties for this and other wildlife crimes beyond the current $10,000 or 12 months in prison.” End quote. Later this year, Belize, along with the rest of the world, will celebrate World Wildlife Day on March 3rd under the theme “Big Cats”. The goal is to continue emphasizing the importance of jaguars and other big cats, and their alarming decline due to habitat and prey loss, poaching, and illegal trade

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