Photo: Brazilian physiotherapist Igor Simoes Andrade poses for picture next to a jaguar named Juma. The animal was shot after it escaped its handlers. Credit: REUTERS A jaguar trotted out for the Olympic torch's passage through Brazil's Amazon was killed shortly afterward when it escaped its handlers and threatened a vet, the Brazilian military said Tuesday.
The feline -- whose species is the symbol of the Amazon -- was shot dead in the northern city of Manaus on Monday soon after it was photographed with the torch passing by. An attempt to use tranquilizer darts on it failed.
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"It escaped and ran off as it was being moved from one area to another in the zoo," said Colonel Luiz Gustavo Evelyn, whose unit is deployed in the region.
He explained that, once located, the jaguar was hit by four tranquilizer darts. But they did not slow it down and it turned on a veterinarian, forcing the soldiers to use bullets.
"To protect the handler, it was sacrificed," Evelyn said.
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The organizing committee of the Rio Games said it was "very unhappy" about the jaguar's killing.
"We erred by allowing the Olympic torch, a symbol of peace and union among people, to be displayed next to a chained wild animal. That contradicts our beliefs and values," the committee said in a statement to AFP.
"We are very unhappy with the outcome... We guarantee there won't be more situations like this in the 2016 Rio Games."
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