Olympic 2016 is turning out to be a nightmare for host city Brazil, as after a series of controversies with regards to its preparations, funding and players’ safety from Zika virus, it is once again finding itself in news all for the wrong reasons.
Brazil is currently conducting their Olympic torch relay ahead of the mega event, with the torch passing hands across the country.
But the relay event, which is supposed to be symbolic for the country, took a horrific turn on June 20 when a Brazilian soldier was forced to shoot and kill a jaguar that had just few minutes ago featured in the torch ceremony.
The female jaguar, who was known as Juma, was in Manaus so as to be photographed along with the Olympic torch as it passed through the city.
While the photography session went without a hitch, Juma tried to bolt for freedom soon after the session was over.
According to reports, Juma was under sedation at that time and was being taken back to her cage, which would have transported her to the Zoo where she was being kept.
But while on her way back, she bolted and ran towards a soldier, who ended up firing the fatal shot.
The soldier was part of the Amazon Military Command, who in turn said that the killing was in line with safety procedures.
Expressing shock over the incident, the Rio 2016 organising committee said in a statement:
“We made a mistake in permitting the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and unity, to be exhibited alongside a chained wild animal. This image goes against our beliefs and our values. We guarantee that there will be no more such incidents at Rio 2016.”
What is more tragic is the fact that Brazil’s Olympic team mascot is also yellow jaguar, who has been named Ginga.
The incident has now caused uproar among animal rights groups, who questioned why the animal was involved in the Olympic event in the first place as it is already a threatened species that is near extinction.