Olympic Torch Ceremony Jaguar Shot Dead After Escaping

August 22, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. corner / ˈkɔr nər / (v.) – to put someone or something in a place where escape is impossible
Example: They cornered the mad dog in an alley.

2. endangered / ɛnˈdeɪn dʒərd / (adj.) – close to extinction
Example: Many animal species are now endangered.

3. illicit / ɪˈlɪs ɪt / (adj.) – illegal
Example: The court considered his actions illicit.

4. wild / waɪld / (n.) – a natural place
Example: I want to see an animal in the wild, rather than in a zoo.

5. blast / blæst / (v.) – to show opposition
Example: Experts blasted the zoo’s new animal show and branded it as animal cruelty.  


Read the text below.
A jaguar used in the Olympic torch ceremony in Manaus, Brazil, escaped shortly after the event and was shot dead by a soldier.

Juma, as the animal was known, was paraded in chains during an Olympic torch event in Brazil. However, it escaped, so a group of veterinarians attempted to corner and sedate it. Although it was successfully tranquilized, Juma approached a soldier who reacted by killing it with a single pistol shot.

The incident sparked outrage from multiple animal rights groups such as the Animal Freedom Union, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Animal Justice.  Beyond being the inspiration for the Brazilian Olympic Team's mascot, the jaguar is a near-endangered species that has been considered extinct in El Salvador and Uruguay. Its presence in the ceremony was illicit on the grounds that local officials did not seek authorization to include it in the event.

Juma’s death is the latest case of animals being killed after encounters with people. Similar cases in the past took place not in the wild, but in zoos, when people accidentally found themselves within an animal’s enclosure. In May, a gorilla at Cincinatti [sin-suh-NAT-ee] zoo was shot dead after a boy fell into its enclosure. Some critics blasted the zoo for killing the animal, but zookeepers insisted that they did the right thing to protect the boy.

A similar incident occurred in 2012 when a young boy also fell into a zoo enclosure that housed African painted dogs. While most of the dogs were cooperative with the zookeepers, one was aggressive and needed to be shot to death.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are some endangered species in your country?
·         How should endangered species be taken care of?

Discussion B

·         How would you react if you were faced with a wild animal?
·         What do you think should be done to animals that harm people? Why?

August 22, 2016