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The Forest Department received a report on Saturday night that a jaguar had been poached in Toledo. The animal was beheaded and the carcass left near the dump area of the Punta Gorda/San Antonio road. This is the second such report of jaguar poaching in the last two years, and the pattern of beheading is the same. It is believed the poachers operate on orders of local or international buyers who seek the animal head for display or for other illegal ornamental uses. As in all instances of poaching of endangered species, a full investigation will be carried out to find the perpetrators of this heinous act. This incident marks a stark departure from the established norms of wildlife conservation in Belize and every effort will be made to identify and arrest the persons responsible.

The public is advised that poaching of jaguars is a punishable offence under the wildlife laws of Belize. Hunting, killing, injuring, trapping or harassment of jaguars and other endangered wildlife is illegal. To avoid prosecution and possible incarceration, no one should partake in any activity related to hunting or capturing of jaguars and other endangered wildlife. The public is advised to report any offers from buyers attempting to solicit jaguars or jaguar parts in exchange for money.

If anyone has any information concerning the location of the jaguar head, or any other information related to this latest incident of jaguar poaching, please contact the Forest Department at 822-1542 or 822-2079.

A reward of $5,000.00 is offered for any information that leads to a conviction of the perpetrators of this latest incident. The reward is being offered by the Belize Forest Department Wil Maheia and Lara Goldman.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Online Happy OP
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Outrage!: They Cut Off A Jaguar's Head For An Ornament

The Ministry of Forestry is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction of the persons who beheaded a jaguar. The big cat was found at Dump outside PG on Saturday night. It is a monstrous act but beyond that it is illegal to kill an endangered species. The CEO in the Ministry of Forestry and the Environment told us more about this infraction.

Percival Cho, CEO, Ministry of Environment
"It's always tragic and shocking to see any animal killed in a ruthless way. The only reason you would kill a jaguar is obviosuly use it for illegal purposes, because the act of killing a jaguar itself is illegal."

"Why from your knowledge would someone behead a jaguar? It is a value of the canines or is it the head itself?"

Percival Cho
"Last year we saw a similar incident. I don't know if you recall and in our investigations the reasoning behind it seems to kind of pointing towards using the head as an ornamental fixture, but it's also alternatives theories in that the teeth and the other parts of the jaguar head might be valuable."

"How serious an offence is it an infraction of it specifically?"

Percival Cho
"Its an offence to kill an endangered species and the offence under the wildlife act is rather low, but we have an alternative that we are working on in terms of strengthening the penalties for the offence and this is under the recently amended forest act. If you recall we did that a couple of years ago and obviously we need to put a greater disincentive on this type of activities, because it's the second time this is happening and we need to nip it in its bud. It cannot be a trend."

"Speak if you can about the reward, you all are offering a reward?"

Percival Cho
"These are monies that are put forward by private sector entities and they want to remain anonymous. Then to clarify on the point of what the reward is for, it is according to the donors for information that leads to a conviction. So a conviction has to occur in order for the reward to be activated."

Other organizations have reached out to add to the reward as well, R&B Construction, affiliated with Hobb's Brewing Company in Placencia is offering $10,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Jaguar's death. PGTV is also offering $500 for information that leads to the arrest of the culprits. So that is a total of $15,500 for information that leads to a conviction of the persons who beheaded the jaguar.

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