Jaguars are protected under the laws of Belize but that doesn’t stop poachers from killing the animal for sport or for selling their heads as trophies to North Americans. On Saturday night the carcass of a jaguar was found without its head, near the dump area of the Punta Gorda/San Antonio road. The Forest Department sent a press release today indicating that it’s the second such report it has received about jaguars being beheaded in the past two years. The release goes on to say that QUOTE “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.”UNQUOTE.
Initially a five thousand dollars award was offered by the department for information leading to the conviction of the perpetrators of the incident. The owners of R&B Construction and Hobb’s Brewing Company in Placencia added ten thousand dollars to the bounty, making it a grand fifteen thousand dollars to those who can assist with the arrest and conviction of the jaguar killers. If anyone has any information concerning the location of the jaguar head, or any other information related to this latest incident of jaguar poaching, please contact the Forest Department at 822-1542 or 822-2079.