Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week captured a male Jaguar in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and sent the endangered animal to Region Four.
According to a release from the EPA, on Tuesday, the Agency received reports about the capture of a male Jaguar in a trap set by residents of Lake Capoey, Essequibo, Region Two. Following this, an Officer from the EPA and a Representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources promptly visited the area to verify the news and the safety of the feline.
Arrangements were made by the EPA with the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) as well as the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), to relocate the Jaguar to the Hyde Park Animal Sanctuary at Land of Canaan on the East Bank of Demerara to protect the animal.
According to the EPA, the main reason for the increasing number of Jaguars trespassing in villages and attacking livestock in Region Two is food.
In light of the increased instances of jaguar encroachment, residents have opted to trap Jaguars to reduce the toll on their livestock. However, the EPA has advised that there were measures that could be taken to prevent Jaguars, which are legally protected in Guyana under the Wildlife Management and Conservation Regulations (WMCR), from entering the communities.
The method that has proven to be most effective is to “keep domesticated animals in well-constructed pens or corrals at night and to use motion-triggered light or loud sounds near the livestock, as the surprise effect would cause the feline to retreat and continue their search for food elsewhere’’.
The release highlighted that the Jaguar was the largest cat of the Americas weighing up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and played an important role in maintaining a healthy environment by helping to control the population of smaller animals lower down the food chain.
Since their large bodies require lots of food, they tend to prey on forest dwellers such as peccaries (bush hogs); deer; tapir (bush cow); turtles and armadillos, etc, to maintain their body mass.
There are still a few thousand Jaguars left in Guyana and these are protected.
Jaguars are shy by nature, and even people who walk the forests frequently do not see them because these predators tend to be elusive, hiding from sight and avoiding interaction.
Residents are encouraged to report any incidents with Jaguars to the EPA Wildlife Unit on 225-5467/225-6048 ext: 226.