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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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The Forestry Department is currently investigating the killing of a jaguar up north. Two officers of the department are currently in Sarteneja Village, in the Corozal district where the vicious act occurred. Today, on the social media, a picture of the dead animal was posted by a resident of that area. According to that post, the jaguar surfaced months ago and begun terrorizing villagers.

Farmers have complained of the loss of numerous livestock including pigs, horses, cows and even dogs. Considered ferocious, the jaguar apparently charged at a villager this morning near the entrance of the village; the Sarteneja resident allegedly responded by aiming his rifle at the predatory female cat.

But there is some outrage because the jaguar had a cub that was left behind. Others in the village, however, say that they were left with no choice after the Forestry Department failed to respond promptly. The killing of the jaguar has caused conflict within the community where some believe that the animal should have been shot with a tranquilizer, captured and relocated in order to protect our Belizean wildlife.

Jaguars are protected animals; Belize has one of the healthiest populations.

Channel 5

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Marty Offline OP
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Jaguar Officer Speaks On The Killing Of Wild Cats

And while Forestry Officials are monitoring the bird's situation and dialoguing with the family who have reportedly launched a petition on the island to get their birds back, another situation popped up today when residents of Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District trapped and killed an adult Jaguar that had been preying on their livestock for quite some time. Forestry officials say they have been in the village sensitising farmers on two or more occasions about the capture of wild cats. And of course legally farmers are permitted to kill jaguars when their livestock is being killed - but have to notify Forestry Department right away. According to Wildlife Officer, Edgar Correa, they have tried trans-locating cats previously and it didn't work (they either became problem cats in the new area or returned cross country to their original territory. In this case, they are simply trying to get the carcass in their possession since wildlife is government property.

Edgar Correa - Jaguar Officer, Forest Department

"We have been there this year in March 22nd where we were doing some tight visits and I advise the famers over there from Sarteneja to actually protect their livestock in terms of having other animals and jaguars, not much evidence was in place but like I said I advise them to protect their animal as much as they could nevertheless, I also advise them according to the law, the wild life act states that if an animal is affecting your livelihood you have all right to kill it, the reports had come in and we knew that they had problems there and we advise them if another report came in and stuff like that then we would actually move on and start looking into it more detailed but only some reports were coming in that were and stuff like that but nothing much so that is the situation with it and right now I am doing a report on it and we will remove the people there and dispose properly since it is the property of the government of Belize, me as the Jaguar officer I go and do a site visit and try gather as much evidence as in place but right now we only know it is a mother and its cob so we are not sure if they have more jaguars in that area."

Officials last visited with residents on March 22nd on the situation where they were informed that it was a mother and a cub seen in the area. We are told that Wildtracks is assisting the Department in collecting information and evidence of the kill.


Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Sarteneja Community Supports Killing Of Problem Jaguar

Yesterday morning at 11:00, a jaguar was killed in Sartaneja village. This is the picture which was posted on FaceBook with the caption, quote, "Finally the village will stop being afraid. it was a big one," end quote.

This sparked outrage on social media and drew consternation from conservationists. When we spoke to one of the villagers, however, she told us that the animal has been killing livestock for months, and several attempts were made to contact Shipstern Conservation & Management Area, before one of the villagers acted in self-defense when the Jaguar attacked, killing it in the process.

According to the villagers, a man was walking his 5 dogs when the adult jaguar attacked. The animal then turned on him, but one of the dogs barked, distracting it. When the jaguar pounced on the dog, the villager, in his panic, chopped the jaguar in its head before running away. They said that this was the last resort after months of waiting for the proper authorities to take merciful action.

When we spoke to a representative of Shipstern, he said that they do not have the legal authority to capture the animal, so they contacted the Forestry Department. The villagers had also contacted the department both over the phone and in person. We spoke to Sharon Matola over the phone who told us that the Belize Zoo has the equipment to capture and transport the animal, but they were never contacted.

The day before the jaguar was killed, it was spotted with a cub. The villagers believe that the cub is still near the village, and are asking the relevant authorities to capture it before it can pose a threat.

Channel 7

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