As omens go, this isn't a great one: an Amazon jaguar was shot dead shortly after its participation in a torch lighting ceremony honoring the Rio Olympics.
Juma the jaguar had participated in the ceremony in the city of Manaus, where it had been chained up as local notables held the Olympic torch. After the ceremony, the jaguar, which was tranquilized, apparently began approaching a soldier, who fired and killed the jaguar with a single shot.
Jaguars are a nearly threatened species, and have been eradicated in several central American nations. The local environmental authority indicated that the ceremony's organizers had not sought permission to use the jaguar. "No request was made to authorize the participation of the jaguar "Juma" in the event of the Olympic torch," the authority said in a statement, according to Reuters. Local and international animal rights activists have already protested the move.
“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,” the Rio 2016 organizing committee said in a statement. "We guarantee that there will be no more such incidents at Rio 2016.”
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.