Juma, a 17-year-old female jaguar, was found as a cub in the forests of Brazil and raised in captivity her entire life. On Monday, June 20, 2016, she was shot dead.The Summer Olympics are being held this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At Manaus, the largest city in Brazil, a torch event was taking place. Juma was bound in chains and exhibited next to a torch holder and military personnel. Upset and stressed from the ordeal, she escaped her handlers’ control while being transported back to her enclosure at the zoo, which is attached to a military training center. Tranquilizers were used to try and recapture the beautify cat but when she apparently turned toward a soldier, she was murdered.

It is not clear if Juma displayed any aggressive behavior or if the soldier was just scared.

Animal lovers demand justice.

The news of this tragic story hit social media over the past 24 hours. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that animal lovers became outraged over the death of another animal kept in captivity.A Change.org petition entitled ‘Justice for Juma the Jaguar’ has already obtained 30,915 of the 35,000 signature goal. While People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA) issued the following statement: “Wild animals held captive and forced to do things that are frightening, sometimes painful, and always unnatural are ticking time bombs — captivity puts animal and human lives at risk”.

Jaguar facts you may not know.

Jaguars are the largest wild cat in Central, Northern, and South America. Its population once spanned the southern tip of South America up to the northern border of the United States and Mexico. Today, with an estimated population of about 15,000 individuals, the Jaguar is limited to areas of South and Central America, mostly in the Amazon Basin.

Unlike other big cats, these beautiful gold and black colored animals are not afraid of the water and are good swimmers. They provide a vital role to the ecosystem, hunting prey known to overgraze on vegetation if not controlled.

Endangered species.

Jaguars are considered an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act because of the high risk of extinction in the foreseeable future.

They are also listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List because of habitat loss, hunting, and a fragmented population. CITIES also list the jaguar under Appendix 1, prohibiting all commercial trade of the animal.

Official statement of apology and pending investigation.

the games organizing committee for Rio 2016, issued an apology for allowing the jaguar to be exhibited in chains alongside the Olympic torch, known worldwide as a symbol of peace and unity. They also stated that they “guarantee that there will be no more such incidents” occurring at the Olympics.

Based upon a statement from Ipaam, the government’s environmental authority, using Juma at the torch event was illegal. They claim that “no request was made to authorize the participation of the jaguar ‘Juma’ in the event of the Olympic torch.” As a result, they are investigating the jaguar’s tragic death.

What reaction to Juma’s death means

On May 28th, Harambe the gorilla was shot and killed after a child fell into the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla exhibit. July 1st will mark one year since Cecil the Lion was lured out of the Hwange National Park and killed by an American dentist. Both events sparked weeks of social media outrage.

The reaction to Juma’s death is another example of the public’s objection to animal exploitation. And it seems like the animals are winning. Earlier this year Sea World announced the end of its Orca captive breeding program and Ringling Brothers announced the end of its elephant shows. Juma’s death will not be in vain because she will join Cecil and Harambe as ambassadors for the anti-captivity movement.

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