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Jan 10, 2018

Why Was Big Cat Targeted?

Heusner believes that the jaguar killer appeared only to have wanted the head and not the rest of the body. The jaguar is a protected species and fines are prescribed for any harm caused to the majestic creature. But that has not stopped some who accuse the big cats in the wild of preying on their domestic animals on the farm.

 

Mike Heusner

On the Phone: Mike Heusner, Belize River Lodge

“Why they would even shoot the jaguar to start with, unless they wanted something? And if somebody shot it because they thought it might be going after their pets or something like that, then why would they cut the head off and not just throw it in the river? It’s hard to figure out just who might have done that. There are a couple of guys that live around Ladyville area that grew up in this area that are notorious for ‘ketch and kill;’ [they] shoot and kill anything that they get their hands on. They have no concept of protection and so on.  Unless it is a nuisance and killing cattle or pets or so, then they are supposed to call the Forest Department, who will arrange for somebody to come and capture it and move it, rarely do they kill it. I’ve heard over the past few years of people saying jaguars have been killing my young cattle so I shot it, but can’t prove any of that; it’s just hearsay. I think most of the population of Belize knows that jaguars are protected. But it’s like so many lives in Belize; a lot of people will ignore it and enforcement of it is kind of hard.”

 

According to Heusner, shortly after the tremors from Tuesday evening’s earthquake, he heard what sounded like gunfire down the river, but cannot be sure if that was when the jaguar was shot. Anyone with information can call the Ladyville police station or Crimestoppers Belize at 0-800-922-TIPS. 

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