The recent killing of a jaguar, Guyana’s national animal, has gone viral on social media and has grabbed the attention of Government which has launched an investigation into the incident, with the hope of finding the perpetrator.
A photo of a dead jaguar began circulating on social media earlier this week and his since sparked debates and awareness about the need to protect this endangered species.
From all indications, based on the post, the animal was killed during a hunting trip. But it is against the law to hunt and kill an animal which falls under the protection of the law.
Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman says he is extremely disturbed by the issue and has since advised that an investigation be launched into the matter.
Even though wildlife management comes under the Environmental Protection Agency and the Wildlife Authority, the Minister said he forwarded the photo to the relevant authorities requesting a probe. and asked them to investigate.
The jaguar, Guyana‘s national animal, is protected by the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2016.
According to the legislation, collecting, holding in captivity, hunting, killing, or otherwise molesting ‘protected’ species is prohibited.
In 2013, Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Panthera Corporation, aimed at conserving the Jaguar.
The jaguar is the third-largest feline in the world, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
In Guyana, these creatures are often spotted along trails or gaps along the forest edge where roads or rivers run.
Sightings are most common in the Iwokrama Forest, especially along the main roadway.