Jaguar captured at Lake Capoey relocated to animal sanctuary

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has relocated a Jaguar that was captured at Lake Capoey, in Region Two, to the Hyde Park Animal Sanctuary at Land of Canaan, East Bank Demerara.

According to an EPA press release, the agency received news on March 24th, 2016, that a male Jaguar was caught in a trap set by residents of Lake Capoey, Essequibo.

On receipt of this news, it said, an officer from the EPA and a representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources promptly visited the community to verify the news and to ensure the safety of the jaguar. The EPA then made arrangements with the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) to facilitate the safe transport and relocation of the jaguar to Georgetown, the release stated.

On April 5th, 2016, officers of the EPA accompanied by a veterinarian secured the jaguar in the community and relocated it to the Hyde Park Animal Sanctuary at Land of Canaan, it added.

According to the press release, the number of jaguars entering the Region Two communities and attacking livestock has been increasing. Region Two has been experiencing long dry spells, which may have forced regular prey to move closer to water sources.

As the search for food becomes more difficult, jaguars may enter communities and stumble upon ‘easy’ food in the form of domestic animals that are available there, the release explained.

The release added that old age and injuries have also been known to cause these cats to encroach into villages. When older animals can no longer hunt agile alert wild animals, they resort to more sluggish and less vigilant domestic animals. Additionally, young, healthy jaguars, in search of new territory, may accidentally stumble upon the richness of easy foods near homes and begin to occupy these areas as their territory.

According to the press release, the EPA advises that there are preventative measures that can be taken to deter jaguars from entering into communities altogether. The most effective methods include keeping domesticated animals in well-constructed pens or corrals at night and using motion-triggered light or sounds near the livestock. The surprise effect causes the cat to retreat and search for food elsewhere.

Jaguars, which are endangered, are legally protected in Guyana under the Wildlife Management and Conservation Regulations (WMCR) 2013 and residents are encouraged to report any incidents with jaguars to the EPA Wildlife Unit at telephone number 225-5468/225-6048 ext. 226.

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