A jaguar used as a mascot by the Olympic games in Brazil was shot dead by the army after it tried to attack a soldier. Juma the jaguar was on display at the Olympic torch relay ceremony in Manaus.
Juma was on display at the Jungle Warfare Instruction Centre in Manaus as part of an Olympic ceremony as the torch travels across Brazil, until it reaches Rio de Janeiro for the opening ceremony on Aug. 5, 2016.
The jaguar had reportedly gotten out of a leash after the ceremony and entered the zoo area maintained by the Centre, reported News Times. A soldier was sent inside the zoo to captured the jaguar, but Juma tried to attack him. His handlers tried to calm him by shooting him with tranquilisers. When that did not work, he was shot in the head with a pistol.
"Juma was a docile animal used to living among people at the centre," the army said in a statement.
Brazil's environmental agency, Ibama, had said on Tuesday it did not give permission for the jaguar to be used for the ceremony.
"We were wrong to allow the Olympic Torch, a symbol of peace and of the union among the peoples, to be displayed alongside a wild animal in chains," the local Olympic organising committee said on it's Facebook page, according to the News Times. "This scene is contrary to our beliefs and values. We are very sad with the outcome that happened after the passing of the torch. We guarantee that we will not see more situations like this in the Rio 2016 Games."
The animal rights group PETA or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in a statement said, "PETA urges everyone who is upset by the needless death of this jaguar, the gorilla Harambe, or countless other exploited wild animals to stay far away from any business that puts living beings on display for human amusement."