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Dec 3, 2013

Problem cat being held captive at the Belize Zoo

Edgar Hill, like Richard Parker in the Life of Pi, is a problem cat.  Prior to being held captive at the Belize Zoo, the jaguar roamed freely in the forest near Pine Hill, a Mennonite community in Toledo.  What drove the big wildcat to terrorize its residents can be attributed to any number of reasons, including an injury to one of his eyes.  When the Forest Department was summoned to the area to capture him, personnel from the Belize Zoo were immediately contacted and asked if they would adopt Edgar into their rehabilitation program.  It was either that or be euthanized.  That was three weeks ago and since then Edgar has been relocated and is undergoing extensive therapy at the Belize Zoo.  Director Sharon Matola told News Five today that despite his progress during the upcoming weeks, he will not be released into the wild.

 

Sharon Matola, Director, Belize Zoo

Sharon Matola

“He is newly rescued. His name is Edgar Hill and he came to us around the 21st 22nd of November. He was misbehaving down in Pine Hill in Punta Gorda, Toledo district I should say. And he was actually accused of getting ready to molest a horse and buggy so he was being a bad boy. So the Mennonites captured him in a trap and the forest department called us and said can you take this cat as a part of your program? If you can’t we have to euthanize him. So we jumped on that and brought him in here and now he is going through the initial process of becoming a problem jaguar rehab jaguar. And that means getting use to people and feeling comfortable with his captive situation. Unfortunately we can’t release him back into the wild. He has a damaged right eye which I think contributed to him becoming a problem jaguar. But he is going to join the troops and the troops are very valuable. They are used for education, they are used for research and if this place weren’t here there will be fourteen dead jaguars. I can’t say it more concise than that so we not only have saved the lives of these cats but they add to the persona of Belize of being a country that cares for its natural resources and we are all very proud of that here.”

 

Edgar Hill becomes the fourteenth jaguar in captivity at the Belize Zoo and will be the subject of behavioral and veterinary research.

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