After the lion and tiger, the strong and muscular jaguar is the third-largest cat in the world and the largest in the Americas. Its black patches act as a form of camouflage in dense vegetation, but they are very attractive and have are victims of the hunters. But not only hunters, today, but industrial agriculture is also the biggest threat to the jaguar’s survival.
The recent estimation shows that there are still 60,000 jaguars in the wild. The largest jaguar population is found in the Brazilian Pantanal wetland area on the Bolivian border. As they fight harder than ever for survival, there are noticed many gangs of poachers who have allegedly killed more than 1000 in the last thirty years, including the gang of the dentist named Temistocles Barbosa Freire.
According to Brazilian authorities, a gang of 7-member poachers is responsible for killing thousands of endangered animals, including jaguars, collared peccary, capybara, and red brocket deer.
Police monitored the gang by wiretapping and following photos and videos on the men’s cell phones for three months. They collected sufficient evidence before making the arrests. In just three months, police witnessed the men kill 13 capybaras, eight jaguars, 10 hounds, and two deer.
Following the evidence, further investigation revealed the group has quietly killed thousands of endangered animals since 1987, together with over 1000 jaguars.
As the jaguar is listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, all international trade of jaguars or their body parts is illegal.
Among the 7 members of the gang were a doctor, a worker in the Judicial Branch and a prison officer, which was a surprise for many Brazilians.
Criminal cases of illegal hunting against all seven men have been opened by the Brazilian Federal Court and they all are facing prison time if found guilty.