> As if Brazil or the Olympics needed another scandal. I'm Stephen Eisenhammer reporting for Reuters news in Rio de Janeiro. On Monday, a jaguar that performed in an Olympic torch ceremony was shot dead by an army serviceman. It's caused absolute outrage in Brazil and across the world.
The animal rights groups questioning why the jaguar was performing in an Olympic tour ceremony at all. These wild animals, they say, are not meant to be held captive, are not meant to be put out on show for people to watch and take photos with. The army say the event occurred after the ceremony when the jaguar escaped.
They have fired a tranquilizer into it multiple times, but the jaguar still approached one of the soldiers. And the soldier fired a single bullet from it's pistol and the jaguar died. The Olympic Organizing Committee, the local Olympic Organizing Committee Rio 2016, have said that they have apologized. And said they regret the incident, saying it was a mistake to plug the Olympic Torch, a symbol of the togetherness and unity of people, with a chained wild animal.
They said it goes against their values and their beliefs. One of the local governmental authorities that looks after the environment in the Amazonas Region where the incident occurred, they said that they had not given position for Juma, which is the name of the animal, the name of the jaguar to perform in this Olympic ceremony.
There's also a lot of people pointing out that the jaguar is the mascot, or at least the cartoon rendering of the jaguar is the mascot of the Brazilian Olympic team. And people pointing out on Twitter that Brazil seemed to have killed its own mascot. And all of these just around 40 days before the games kick off here in Rio de Janeiro