BELIZE-Authorities worried at illegal poaching of jaguars


Belize Monday offered a BDS$5,000 (One Belize dollar=US$0.49 cent) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons who over the weekend beheaded a jaguar and left the carcass near a dump.

The Forestry Department said that it had received a report on Saturday night that a jaguar had been poached in Toledo, south of here and that “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,” the Department said in a statement.

It said 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”.

It reminded the population that poaching of jaguars is a punishable offence under the wildlife laws of Belize and that 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.”

The authorities said thet were offering a reward of $5,000.00 “for any information that leads to a conviction of the perpetrators of this latest incident”.

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