Screen_shot_2012-08-10_at_6.37.05_PMAt the beginning of the New Year we brought you the story of a female jaguar that was trapped in Petville here in Orange Walk. Francisco Magana contacted the Forestry Department and personnel from the Belize Zoo informing them about his catch. Veterinarian Sheila Schmeling traveled all the way to Orange Walk to examine the feline, which based on her expertise, was in good health. That same day the jaguar was tranquilized, transported to the Belize Zoo and enrolled in the jaguar rehabilitation program. The feline was named Naranja and so far is doing well.

But not all jaguars have the same faith. Some are hunted by poachers, killed and skinned for their pelt which is very valuable. And that’s exactly what happened this past Sunday. According to reports, a group of men were out hunting in the outskirts of Caledonia Village when they came across a male jaguar. Reportedly, the animal was shot in the back of the head and transported back to the village where it was skinned. Its hide was peeled off in order to be sold. Because, jaguars are endangered and protected in Belize, serious concerns have been raised. The jaguar is protected in the Wildlife Act which makes it illegal to hunt them down.  It has been estimated that 400-600 jaguars inhabit Belize.

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