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#524800 - 07/29/17 05:45 AM To Catch A "Problem" Jaguar  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,353
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Jaguars are one of Belize's most elusive, yet recognizable animals. As apex predators, jaguars generally get their choice of prey when in the wild, but every once in a while, a jaguar comes across a farm, and learns that it can get an easy meal. When left to feed on livestock for long enough, some jaguars may have trouble reverting back to hunting, and can need to be relocated or rehabilitated.

And tonight, that's what's happening to a jaguar caught on a farm in the Northern Lagoon area. Personnel from the Forest Department and the Belize Zoo went out to the farm to extract the jaguar, and we were there to document the process. Here's what the Forest Department's Jaguar Officer had to say about this rare event...

Shanelly Carillo, Jaguar Officer - Forest Department
"These situations aren't something very common and each situation is very unique, so there are different things that needs to be considered. In this situation what we tried to do one of the most important things is try to get the animal out of the area as soon as possible, just to reduce the stress and the possibility of any harm coming to the animal. As well we do not want it to stay in the farm with all the animals around. So that's the most important thing for extractions, but it's not something that's very common."

"There are different things happening. It has to do with some farmers take things into their own hands, but as well we do not get reports of it sometimes. That is very important and we are trying to improve that to make sure that farmers know that there are people that they can call for these issues and that they can get help. So it's not something that they have to fight this on their own."

Our team just got back from Northern Lagoon an hour ago, and tomorrow, we'll give you more details about the jaguar's relocation and what exactly is going to happen to it.

The Twist In The Jaguar’s Tale

Yesterday we told you about a problem jaguar that was caught in the Northern Lagoon area in the Belize District. The farm owners held the cat long enough for the Forest Department to extract the jaguar, and deliver it to the Belize Zoo for rehabilitation. However, once there, things did not go quite as expected. Alex Courtenay reports on the terrible twist in this jaguar's tale.

Alex Courtenay reporting
Over the last few months, this farm in the Northern Lagoon area has served as a hunting grounds for a mature, male jaguar. According to the farm's owner, dozens of sheep, cows and geese have gone missing since the predator set up shop.

In an attempt to stop the jaguar from feasting on the livestock, a trap was set up on the outskirts of the farm, and after three days, the jaguar was caught. The Forest Department and Belize Zoo were then called to the scene to extract the problem animal.

Shanelly Carillo - Jaguar Officer, Forest Department
"Well these situations aren't something very common and each situation is very unique, so there are different things that needs to be considered. In this situation what we tried to do one of the most important things is try to get the animal out of the area as soon as possible, just to reduce the stress and the possibility of any harm coming to the animal. As well we do not want it to stay in the farm with all the animals around. So that's the most important thing for extractions, but it's not something that's very common."

As Carillo mentioned, situations like these are quite rare. It's not often that a jaguar wanders into a farm, and it's even less common that the jaguar is caught by the farmers, and the Forest Department is actually called in to intervene. Actually, in most cases, problem cats are hunted and killed. But, that's illegal and in cases like this one, it is recommended that farmers seek assistance as soon as possible.

Shanelly Carillo - Jaguar Officer, Forest Department
"First of all they need to contact the Forest Department as soon as possible and that's very important, because if the animal is not used to seeing domestic animals as a source of food, we can try to make it move away from the farm and just feed on the natural wild prey. So contact the Forest Department. We have a lot of advice that we can give to farmers and how to properly manage their animals and ensure that jaguars do not feed on the domesticated animals. That's the first step. From there we can try different things to make sure that the farm is safer and that jaguar stay outside of the farms and the domestic animals are safe inside the farm which is very important. We need to make sure that the jaguars can still move around in Belize, have healthy populations, but not causing problems to the farmers and their animals."

Because the jaguar caught at Northern Lagoon became so used to feeding off farm animals, relocating it into the wild would have been ineffective, and chances are he would have made his way right back to the farm. So, he was taken to the Belize Zoo, to join over a dozen other problem jaguars in a rehabilitation program. Unfortunately, when he arrived at the zoo, things took a turn for the worse.

Dr. George Kollias - Professor of Wildlife Medicine, Cornell University
"When we observed him yesterday before we transported him, to me he looked like a very stress jaguar, he was breathing very heavily and his body temperature was probably quite high, so trying to cover him up and keep him out of the sun during transport was important and we observed him while being transported, he seem quite but not terribly distressed. When we arrived at the zoo, to me he looked more distressed and inactive. I was very concern about doing any kind of exam on him at that time, because to examine a jaguar they have to be anesthetized and even with healthy animals anesthesia is some risk, I felt it would be very risky and might die if we anesthetized him."

So far the experts can't say for sure, how the stress of being relocated contributed to the jaguar's death, but Dr. Kollias had a few theories.

Dr. George Kollias - Professor of Wildlife Medicine, Cornell University
"Well one scenario here is that he was in the capture cage we don't know for exact time period and normally many wild animals once they are captured and in a confine space they will try to escape. It was in an area very hot and humid and so he may have spent time trying to escape from the enclosure and during that process it causes a lot of damage to the large muscles and he is using during that process and his body temperature goes way up. That kind of sets up for a process for a specific type of shock to occur which is called hemorrhagic shock where the animals actually bleeds internally and dies."

The post-mortem on the jaguar's body also revealed that he was in near-perfect physical condition, so factors like disease and previous injuries have been ruled out for the most part. Now, the experts want to use this experience to make sure that no other animal suffers a similar fate.

Dr. George Kollias
"As they say 20/20 hindsight is always easy. Probably the only thing that really could be done to prevent this in the future I think that probably the most important thing we can discuss here is to monitor the trap very frequently even if has to be done at a distance with binoculars and soon as the animal is trap, planning on transport immediately if the weather conditions are good. The sooner the better."

Had the jaguar survived, his size and physical condition would have made him a prime candidate for display.

Channel 7




#525059 - 08/09/17 05:17 AM Re: To Catch A "Problem" Jaguar [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,353
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Taking Stock of Jaguar Care After Unfortunate Death Two Weeks Ago

Almost two weeks ago we told you about the jaguar that was extracted from a farm in the Northern Lagoon area of the Belize district. That jaguar had been trapped by farmers after it had spent several months feeding off the livestock in the area. The Forest Department was called in to extract it, but not long after the jaguar was transported to the Belize Zoo, it died. According to experts, the stress of being captured was too much for the otherwise healthy animal to handle.

Today the National Jaguar Working Group issued a press release giving its recommendations for what civilians should do if a jaguar is threatening them or their animals. When we spoke to the Forest Department's Jaguar Officer a couple weeks ago, she gave us some of that same advice. Here's what she said...

Shanelly Carillo - Jaguar Officer, Forest Department
"First of all they need to contact the Forest Department as soon as possible and that's very important, because if the animal is not used to seeing domestic animals as a source of food, we can try to make it move away from the farm and just feed on the natural wild prey. So contact the Forest Department. We have a lot of advice that we can give to farmers and how to properly manage their animals and ensure that jaguars do not feed on the domesticated animals. That's the first step. From there we can try different things to make sure that the farm is safer and that jaguar stay outside of the farms and the domestic animals are safe inside the farm which is very important. We need to make sure that the jaguars can still move around in Belize, have healthy populations, but not causing problems to the farmers and their animals."

Reporter
"So you mentioned that situations like this where you actually have a captured jaguar, is that because you guys think it's because you don't get the calls often enough? Are farmers taking the matter into their own hands and then just getting rid of the jaguars themselves rather than going through appropriate procedure to try and save these animals that are endangered?"

Shanelly Carillo - Jaguar Officer, Forest Department
"There are different things happening. It has to do with some farmers taking things into their own hands but as well we do not get reports of it sometimes, that is very important and we are trying to improve to make sure that farmers know that there are people that they call for these issues and that they can get help. So it's not something that they have to fight this on their own. We are here to help and we are just hoping that they can continue calling and the persons who haven't been calling, start calling the department."

Apart from alerting the relevant authorities to monitor the situation and working with the Forest Department to secure livestock and pets, the Jaguar working groups recognizes that more government agencies and stakeholders need to get involved address problem jaguars.

Channel 7


#525062 - 08/09/17 05:53 AM Re: To Catch A "Problem" Jaguar [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,353
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
National Jaguar Working Group Offers Recommendations Following the Death of Jaguar

On the 27th July 2017, the Forest Department responded to reports of a jaguar being captured by farmers around the Northern Lagoon area in the Belize District. Upon investigation, it was discovered that farmers, who experienced several jaguar attacks on their livestock, retaliated by trapping the jaguar. When farmers informed the Forest Department that they had caught a jaguar, a team comprising of members of the National Jaguar Working Group (NJWG), was immediately dispatched to the area.

The team noted that prior to and during transportation to the Belize Zoo facilities, the jaguar exhibited signs of sluggish behaviour, poor coordination and weakness - all indications of a potential health crisis. Immediate and specialised care by veterinary personnel and response team was given around the clock to revive the animal, but all efforts proved unsuccessful and a post-mortem confirmed that the animal died due to heat trauma and exhaustion.

In sharing its review of the incident and lessons learnt, the NJWG offers the following recommendations:

1. Report jaguar predation incidents immediately to the Forest Department. In most instances where jaguar attacks are reported immediately, there is a higher chance of both the Forest Department and farmers being able to put measures in place to both reduce further jaguar attacks on livestock and prevent cases of retaliations.

2. Allow experts to manage the situation. Determining the responsible jaguar is often complex and requires a high level of expertise. Trapping of jaguars is considered a last resort, requires continuous monitoring and should never be conducted without experts, who can ensure the potential for unnecessary, prolonged and painful death of jaguars is significantly reduced.

3. Prevention of attacks on livestock is always better than retaliating after an attack. There are several ways to deter jaguars, including contacting the Forest Department for guidance on livestock management, securing livestock and pets at night, planning livestock movements, guarding young livestock, installing adequate lighting, and/or installing electric fencing where possible.

4. More concerted effort is needed by relevant government agencies and stakeholders to prevent human-jaguar conflicts. Recognizing that jaguar-livestock conflict can cause considerable economic and emotional hardship, urgent national dialogue and cooperation is necessary between jaguar management agencies and livestock stakeholders in order to build a greater understanding of the root causes, foster partnerships, and identify suitable approaches that ultimately enable coexistence.

The National Jaguar Working Group is an advisory committee to the Forest Department for addressing jaguar issues nationally. It has broad representation, including government agencies, academic and research institutes, protected areas managers and conservation NGO’s.

For more information, please contact the Forest Department at 822-1524 or the Jaguar Officer at 664-4550, or Email: jaguar.officer.fd.bz@gmail.com. [END]


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