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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Olympic torch relay ~ juma, the Amazon jaguar gets killed !

Humans desire ceremonies ~ in that insatiable wish, they make every others a pawn ! -  just to showcase and celebrate !

Manaus, is the capital city of the state of Amazonas in the North Region of Brazil. It is situated at the confluence of the Negro and Solimões rivers and is the most populous city of Amazonas.  The city was founded in 1693–94 as the Fort of São José do Rio Negro,  elevated to a town in 1832 with the name of "Manaus", an altered spelling of the indigenous Manaós peoples.  Manaus is located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, and access to the city is primarily by boat or airplane. This isolation helped preserve both the nature as well as the culture of the city.

The 2016 Summer Olympics, simply Rio 2016, is a major international multi-sport event in the tradition of the Olympic Games due to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August 2016. Record numbers of countries are participating in a record number of sports. More than 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), including first time entrants Kosovo and South Sudan, are scheduled to take part.   The host city of Rio de Janeiro was announced at the 121st  IOC Session held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in  2009. Rio will become the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics.

The Olympic torch relay is the ceremonial relaying of the Olympic Flame from Olympia, Greece, to the site of an Olympic Games. It was first performed at the 1936 Berlin Games, and has taken place prior to every Games since.  This year too, this is happening, after being lit in Olympia, Greece,  travel to  Athens, travel in Brazilian journey visiting more than 300 Brazilian cities, including all 26 state capitals and the Federal District – and this relay is in news for tragic reasons !

The name of the Olympic mascot pays tribute to Brazilian musician Vinicius de Moraes. Vinicius is a mix of different Brazilian animals. His design takes inspiration from pop culture, as well as video game and animation characters. Alongside his Paralympic Games colleague, Vinicius represents the diversity of the Brazilian people and culture, as well as its exuberant nature.

Now to the news ~  an  Amazon jaguar has been shot dead by the Brazilian army after participating as a 'mascot' for an Olympic torch ceremony in Manaus. During the event the female jaguar - called Juma - was just yards away from the lighting of the Olympic torch, where she was held by a chain around her neck. Following the event she was taken to her zoo cage on a truck but managed to escape. A team of vets tried to recapture Juma by firing tranquilizers but they failed to take immediate effect and she reportedly came close to attacking a soldier. The Amazon Military Command - whose symbol is a jaguar - said the animal was shot as a 'safety procedure' to 'protect the soldier'.

The incident happened yesterday after the Olympic torch passed through the jungle city, where England played Italy in the 2014 World Cup. Juma was a jaguar at CIGS zoo, which is part of the army's jungle warfare-training centre and where many of the animals have been captured by soldiers on patrol. A guest who attended the event said: 'The jaguar was in a secluded spot, but everyone took pictures with her. 'When the event was over, Juma was taken to her cage, which was in a truck. It was then she ran away.'

A statement issued by Brazil's Amazon Military Command said: 'Efforts were made to capture the animal by firing tranquilizers. But even though the animal was hit, it still advanced towards a soldier that was stationed nearby. 'As a safety procedure and aiming to protect the soldier and the handlers, a pistol was used to shoot the animal. She died at the scene.' An inquiry has now been launched by the Amazon Institute of Environmental who said it had not given permission for Juma to be used at the event.

It had given permission for another jaguar, Simba, to go show at the event. She was held elsewhere on the courtyard by members of the army.  A spokesman for the agency said the Brazilian army had been asked for an official explanation into the death of Juma and the reason she was 'exposed to the Olympic torch event without authorisation'. If the army is found to have breached environmental regulations it could be fined between £600 and £60,000. The shooting of the jaguar was immediately met by an outpouring of anger on social media, with people accusing the army of acting 'irresponsibly' and incompetently'.

The jaguar is already an endangered species in the Americas, with a 30 per cent reduction over the same number of years.  .. meanwhile, humans are engrossed in ceremonies !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd June 2016.

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