Suspected poachers caused outrage after photographs emerged of them posing with the carcass of a jaguar they had apparently killed minutes earlier.
The incident took place in Jujuy Province, north-western Argentina, earlier this month (September).
Ironically, the big cat had fled wildfires to find safety, only to apparently run into the trio of poachers.
Netizens and animal rights groups were outraged after seeing the images online, not least because the species is in danger of extinction.
One snap shows the hunters gathered around the big cat’s corpse while another shows it on its back with one of the trio hunched over it.
A third shows the tragic jaguar dumped in a builder’s wheelbarrow.
Social media user ‘Marilo Lopez’ commented: “Jail them already!”
While ‘Feedde Seguel’ wrote: “Stupidity knows no limits and that makes people very dangerous.”
The images reached judicial officials from Jujuy and Salta provinces, who are now seeking the identities and whereabouts of the suspects.
In addition to holding an illegal hunt, there are fears the men may be trying to flog the animal’s hide on the black market.
The wildfires the jaguar had fled from burnt through several hectares of Jujuy Province.
The jaguar (Panthera onca) is the only living member of the genus Panthera native to the Americas.
It is classified as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The species is threatened by habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, poaching for trade with its body parts, and killings in situations of conflict between humans and wildlife.
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: William McGee, Agency: Newsflash
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