Jaguar shot dead after Olympic torch relay

Published: Thursday, June 23, 2016 @ 4:35 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2016 @ 4:35 AM

A jaguar that was in an Olympic torch ceremony in Brazil was shot and killed shortly after the event on Monday.

Juma, the 17-year-old jaguar, was chained during the ceremony in the northern city of Manaus as soldiers and runners posed for photographs. After the ceremony, Juma was brought back to her cage at the zoo, where she attempted to break free and attack a soldier. The zoo was part of a military base in the city.

Officials said handlers hit Juma with tranquilizer darts, but that didn’t stop her. A soldier then shot Juma.

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“It escaped and ran off as it was being moved from one area to another in the zoo,” Colonel Luiz Gustavo Evelyn told The Telegraph. “To protect the handler, it was sacrificed.”

“We were wrong to allow the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and of the union among the people, to be displayed alongside a wild animal in chains,” the local Olympic organizing committee said on its Facebook page. “This scene is contrary to our beliefs and values. We are very sad with the outcome that happened after the passing of the torch. We guarantee that we will not see more situations like this in the Rio 2016 Games.”

>> Click here or scroll down to see photos and videos of Juma