Man Arrested on Suspicion of Killing Over 1,000 Protected Jaguars

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The protection of wildlife is a global passion shared by millions. With thousands of species of animals already being endangered, the conservation of wildlife is vital.

Sadly, hunting is still very much an active sport today. In locations around the world, millions of animals lose their lives at the hands of humans who hunt for pure enjoyment and “sport,” and the individuals who take part in this sport are not at all phased by the threat of extinction. 

A man in Brazil has been arrested recently after being accused of killing over 1,000 protected jaguars and much more native wildlife.

Keep scrolling to learn about the sickening acts of this man and his friends, all in the name of “good sport…”

This type of hunting, also known as “trophy hunting,” is the recreational capturing and killing of wild animals for the enjoyment of humans. These animals are not killed for resources; they are killed purely for “the sport.”

Locations in the United States and Africa are home to a lot of game and trophy hunters. Particularly in Africa, with its exotic species such as lions, elephants, giraffes, and deer, the killing of animals such as these is seen as an achievement in the hunting community.

This staggering statistic demonstrates the amount of wildlife that is lost every year all for the pleasure of certain human beings.

Thousands of animal activist groups have hit out against this sport and have signed numerous petitions in an attempt to fully ban trophy hunting.

Trophy hunting has no purpose other than bragging and displaying the animal that has been killed in a bid of showing off. These animals have no subsistence once they have died; they are merely cut apart to be displayed, have their skin cut off for throws and rugs, or become a work of taxidermy.

The hunting of animals such as lions and elephants in certain parts of Africa is sadly not illegal due to hunting licenses that are available. Countries such as Brazil, however, deem it illegal to hunt completely. It is illegal in all parts of Brazil apart from Rio Grande do Sul.

The jaguar is the third-biggest native cat species in the New World and closely resembles its cousin, the leopard. Jaguars are largely solitary and opportunistic predators that, unlike the usual nature of cats, enjoy to swim!

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, the jaguar is now listed as “near threatened” due to its dwindling numbers in the wild. The main threat to the big cat is the fragmentation of habitat, and, whilst the hunting of jaguars is strictly prohibited, it sadly still happens thanks to the ignorance of certain individuals.

Police in Brazil arrested 7 men, all of whom were suspected to be part of an illegal poaching gang, killing 1,000 protected jaguars. Brazil has a conservation law in place to protect its endangered and “under threat” animals, but this clearly doesn’t stop these brutal gangs.

The man who has been accused of killing the big cats is reportedly Temistocles Barbosa Freire, who works as a dentist and is the longest-serving member of the gang. He is believed to have killed 1,000 jaguars since 1987.

The fact that the men were using firearms without a permit has also been held against them in the case, and they could all face prison sentences if found guilty. Amongst the men, there is a doctor, a farmer, a prison officer, and an electrician.

A cuica is a high-pitched Brazillian drum that sounds very similar to the sounds that monkeys produce, which ultimately attracts jaguars.

During the last 3 months of monitoring, it has been reported that, in total, the gang has killed “8 jaguars, thirteen capybaras, 10 collared peccaries, and 2 deer.” The gang was known to use hunting dogs to assist them in their kills, which, as told by hunting professionals, usually guarantees a successful kill.

Cecil was a male lion who lived in the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. He was a major attraction of the park and was part of a long-term study conducted by Oxford University in the UK.

On the evening of the 1st of July 2015, the lion was shot with an arrow by an American dentist, Walter Palmer. The lion dragged himself away until he was tracked and killed the following morning. Subsequently, Cecil suffered many hours of incredible pain and fear before finally being put out of his misery by Palmer.

He was not charged with any crimes over Cecil’s death, and, instead, went back home to the States to gloat about his victory of killing a lion – the ultimate hunting trophy. This caused an immense backlash and global criticism, and Palmer even began receiving abuse and death threats.

Yet trophy hunting is still as popular as ever today. Despite the agonizing death that Cecil endured at the hands of a poacher, hunting doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon in Africa.

Speaking to National Geographic, Loveridge said: “About 1.2 million square kilometers of land in Africa is set aside for hunting. These areas actually do protect wildlife, by protecting their habitat. Hunting also benefits economies, though not as much as hunters claim.”

5 months after Cecil’s death, the United States Fish & Wildlife Services added lions in India and West and Central Africa to the endangered species list.

Trophy hunting has given itself a very ugly name, with millions around the world protesting to get it banned completely in favor of our wildlife. Hopefully, the gang responsible for the deaths of the 1,000 jaguars will get what they deserve when the investigation comes to an end. Ultimately, all that we can do is hope that trophy hunting will finally come to an end.