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Forest Department says Jaguar Response Team responded to conflict report in Sittee River, Stann Creek

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2024. 2:30 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Forest Department issued a statement today explaining that through the support of its national partners, the Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI) and The Belize Zoo, the Forest department responded to a human-jaguar conflict report in Sittee River, Stann Creek District on Monday May 13th, 2024. 

The Jaguar Response Team was deployed and confirmed the reports of jaguar attacks on poultry in the Sittee River area.

The Jaguar Response Team, comprised of personnel from the Forest Department, the Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative and the Belize Zoo, formed through the GEF7 Project: “Enhancing Jaguar Corridors and strongholds through improved management and threat reduction” is a specialized group of officers trained to respond to human-jaguar conflict situations.

According to the Forest Department, the team monitored the situation and safely captured the jaguar on Tuesday May 27th, 2024.

The jaguar was transported to the Belize Zoo Veterinary Clinic where a health assessment was completed by a wildlife veterinarian, and based on the results it was determined that the jaguar is in good health, had no injuries and should be returned to the wild.

“A GPS telemetry collar was thereafter fitted on the jaguar with the objective of monitoring its movement and behaviour. The information gathered from this device will provide important data to evaluate the success of this relocation as well as additional information of jaguar ecology in Belize. The jaguar was safely relocated to one of Belize’s larger protected areas to ensure its well-being and minimize future conflicts,” the Forest Department explained.

In addition, the Forest Department thanked the Sittee River Community for their patience and collaboration, Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI), the Belize Zoo and Technical Advisory Committee of the “Enhancing Jaguar Corridors and strongholds through improved management and threat reduction” project for their assistance and guidance during this operation and reminds the public to continue to report any human-jaguar conflict issue to the Forest Department.

 

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