I’ve gotta ask my question. I’m going to illustrate my ignorance on this, but I don’t care. This is how you learn. Did you hear about this jaguar that mauled a zookeeper in Denver? The jaguar was named Jorge. They got the jaguar from a Bolivian zoo, six years old, a cute little thing. I saw a picture of it, and they had just imported a 16-month-old female to mate with Jorge. They had this zookeeper who violated a policy and went into the exhibit area with the animal there, and the animal mauled her.
The other zookeepers heard the cries of distress from the crowd. They went in there to rescue the worker and the jaguar began to approach the other people. Now, jaguars, I was curious about this. I looked ’em up, and people that deal with them say that they are the meanest, most unpredictable cat in the big cat world, even more so than lions and tigers and cougars. Jaguars are just unpredictable. But they shot and killed the thing. Now, I know that when an alligator or somebody out in the wild attacks a human being and kills the human being, they find the beast and they put them down. I understand that. But if the people in the zoo area, the exhibit area, killed the cat because it was approaching them and they felt threatened, then it’s understandable. I don’t understand why, in a zoo circumstance, when a cat, a big cat like this does what a big cat does — a jaguar is a jaguar — and if it’s the most unpredictable and meanest cat of all the big cats, why would you kill it for doing what it does?
Even if it hadn’t attacked the other rescuers, and it didn’t say attack, it said it was “approaching.” They couldn’t take any chances. In this case, I understand it. But there are times where the animal is put down anyway, whether it’s threatening anybody else or not, and I’ve never understood that. It’s just being what it is. You know, a jaguar is a jaguar. A tiger is a tiger. When they do what they do — and these are not trained animals. These are not circus animals. They are not performing out there. This is a zoo, and I never understood what is the reason why you automatically kill a predator animal when it kills a human being, when that’s what predator animals do. There’s a part of me that understands it, but not totally.