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Friday, July 1, 2022

Reward set for poachers who beheaded 2 jaguars

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A jaguar in repose at a zoo in Belize. Photo: Getty

The Belize government has launched a reward of BZ$10,000 to anyone who provides information about a group of poachers who beheaded two endangered jaguars in a natural reserve area.

The reward is equal to nearly US$5,000 or 93,000 pesos.

In addition, an alert was issued for immigration agents and customs officers on the border with Mexico in order to prevent them from escaping to other points in Central America.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration of Belize has opened up its purse to find the culprits, who it is feared will cross the border into Mexico.

The jaguars were found floating headless in the Belize River near Belmopan, the capital city of the Central American country.

Belizean government officials highlighted the fact that they maintain the only reserve dedicated to the conservation of the jaguar. Those responsible must pay a fine of more than BZ$10,000 or serve a 12-month prison sentence.

The world’s largest concentration of jaguars is in the Yucatán Peninsula, in reserve areas such as Calakmul and the at the Río Azul National Park in Petén, which has the largest jungle in Mesoamerica.

It is estimated that there are about 400 jaguars in the Maya biosphere reserve and only about 4,000 in the world.

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