Two more jaguar hides confiscated by Belize Forestry Department in San Pedro
Saturday, December 21st, 2013
A joint operation between the Belize Forestry Department and San Pedro Police Department has led to the discovery of two illegal jaguar hides. The pelts were found inside a warehouse in the San Marcos area on Marina Drive in San Pedro Town on Tuesday December 17th.
According to Victoria Cawich, Forestry and Wildlife Officer at the Belize Forestry Department, the operation was launched after authorities received a tip from a local resident on Monday December 16th. The operation was immediately put into place and with the help of San Pedro police, the warehouse was searched. Cawich explained that inside the building were two well preserved jaguar pelts which appeared to be of two fully mature adult jaguars, scientifically known as Panthera Onca.
Investigations so far reveal that the jaguars were killed in the Toledo District. According to Cawich, the naturalized Belizean who had the pelts explained that he came in to possession of the jaguar hides in March from a friend living in Punta Gorda Town. That person was contacted by investigators and indicated that he shot and killed the animals after they were attacking and killing his livestock on his farm. The Punta Gorda Town resident said that he gave the jaguar hides to a friend since it was of no use to him.
Cawich explained that because the person who had the hides is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and because he has never been charged for anything in Belize, his offences were compounded. In other words he has agreed to committing the offence and to pay an imposed fine of $200. Click Here to read the rest of the article and see photos in the San Pedro Sun