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Jaguar Killed After Olympic Torch Presentation


An athlete holds the Olympic Torch by a jaguar during a ceremony in Manaus, northern Brazil, June 20, 2016. The jaguar, who was named Juma and lived in the local zoo, had to be shot dead by soldiers shortly after the ceremony when he escaped. (AFP PHOTO / Diario do Amazonas / Jair Araujo)

An athlete holds the Olympic Torch by a jaguar during a ceremony in Manaus, northern Brazil, June 20, 2016. The jaguar, who was named Juma and lived in the local zoo, had to be shot dead by soldiers shortly after the ceremony when he escaped. (AFP PHOTO / Diario do Amazonas / Jair Araujo)

This is What’s Trending Today:

A jaguar was killed in Brazil on Monday after it got out of its leash.

Earlier in the day it was shown off during an Olympic torch ceremony in the city of Manaus.

The mascot of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is a cartoon-style jaguar. A person wearing a jaguar costume appears at many of the pre-Olympic events.

The Rio 2016 organizing committee apologized for using a chained-up wild animal alongside the Olympic torch.

“We made a mistake … this image goes against our beliefs and our values,” the organizers wrote in a statement.

Jaguars are extinct in two South American countries and are in danger of disappearing in Brazil. The jaguar’s name was Juma.

Many animal-rights supporters were upset that the big cat was killed.

The Brazilian army said the animal was first shot with a tranquilizer dart, but still walked toward a soldier.

One animal rights group asked: “when will people stop with this sick need to show power?”

The use of the jaguar at the event was also illegal.

A government authority that oversees the use of wild animals said no request was made to use the jaguar at the event.

Many people reacted to the jaguar’s death on social media. It reminded people of some recent animal deaths.

In late May, a gorilla was killed in the U.S. state of Ohio after a boy climbed into the animal’s enclosure at the zoo in Cincinnati.

More recently, five alligators were killed at Disney World in Florida. Authorities were looking for the alligator that drowned a small boy.

Last year, people were upset when a protected lion named Cecil was killed in Africa by an American hunter.

The death of the jaguar is only the latest problem leading up to the Rio Olympics.

The Olympic organizing committee has been dealing with a number of problems.

Athletes are concerned about raw sewage leaks at open water venues for sailing and swimming. Many are worried about mosquitos carrying the Zika virus.

Rory McIlroy, the champion Irish golfer, announced on Wednesday that he would not compete at the Olympics due to concerns about Zika.

The Games begin August 5.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English with information from the Reuters news agency. Hai Do was the editor.

What do you think of the problems leading up to the Olympics in Brazil? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

mascotn. a person, animal, or object used as a symbol to represent a group (such as a sports team) and to bring good luck

cartoon – n. a drawing in a newspaper or magazine intended as a humorous comment on something

extinctadj. no longer existing

tranquilizer dartn. a small object with a sharp point that is shot from a gun and contains a drug that causes a person or animal to become very relaxed and calm

enclosuren. an area that is surrounded by a wall, fence, etc. : an enclosed space

sewagen. waste material (such as human urine and feces) that is carried away from homes and other buildings in a system of pipes

leashn. a long, thin piece of rope, chain, etc., that is used for holding a dog or other animal

venuen. the place where an event takes place

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