The Forest Department received a report on Saturday, May 24, 2019, at night that a jaguar had been poached in Toledo. The animal was beheaded and the carcass left near the dump area of the Punta Gorda/San Antonio road. This is the second such report of jaguar poaching in the last two years, and the pattern of beheading is the same. It is believed 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. This incident marks a stark departure from the established norms of wildlife conservation in Belize and every effort will be made to identify and arrest the persons responsible.
The public is advised that poaching of jaguars is a punishable offence under the wildlife laws of Belize. Hunting, killing, injuring, trapping or harassment of jaguars and other endangered wildlife is illegal. To avoid prosecution and possible incarceration, no one should partake in any activity related to hunting or capturing of jaguars and other endangered wildlife. The public is advised to report any offers from buyers attempting to solicit jaguars or jaguar parts in exchange for money.
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.
A reward of $5,000.00 is offered for any information that leads to a conviction of the perpetrators of this latest incident.