In the three months that the hunter gang was being watched by hacking their phones and downloading photos and videos, the federal police discovered they were responsible for the deaths of thousands of animals in the northwestern Acre region. A Brazilian dentist kills jaguars with a local gang of hunters.
Often these were protected species, including jaguars, capybara’s, collar peccaries and red-skinned deer, various Brazilian news sites report.
The gang member who has been around for the longest time, a dentist by the name of Temistocles Barbosa Freire, is believed to have shot at least a thousand jaguars since 1987.
The gang would have used the sound of a typical Brazilian drum (the cuica) to lure the animals. However, hunting for the largest and strongest feline in South America is strictly prohibited.
The animal is also protected in neighboring countries, including Argentina, Colombia, Honduras, French Guiana, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela and Suriname.
The seven is now being charged with illegal hunting and the use of firearms without a license. Depending on their share in the hunt, the arrested men await a prison sentence or a fine.
MPF denuncia grupo de caçadores que agia no interior do Acre.— MPF no Acre (@MPF_AC) July 1, 2019
Apens um dos membros do grupo pode ter matado mais de mil onças pintadas, diz investigação.https://t.co/Cibgqdkq2G pic.twitter.com/0IKMua9wgQ
Jaguars (Panthera onca) are one of the most well-known endangered species in South America – but for the same reasons that jaguars are regarded as a South American animal, it is easily forgotten that jaguars have historically lived all across southern, central and northern American countries.
The jaguar habitat originally spanned all the way from Argentina, through Central America, up into various parts of the southwestern United States, including modern day Arizona and New Mexico.
Though the jaguar is formally considered Near Threatened by the IUCN, rather than Endangered, and have been classified as such since 2002, jaguar conservation efforts are still critical today because threats to the species persist.