Dear Editor, Amandala
Please allow me a little corner in your newspaper to write about the jaguars in Belize. I would like to shed some light on the other side of this jaguar phenomenon. You see, I am a fisherman; I raise African bees and sheep. Now sheep seem to be a favorite food for jaguars as I’ve lost over 32 to these so-called beautiful animals. These jaguar conservationists should walk in my shoes for a little while and see if they would still have the same opinion.
I have jaguars come in the middle of the day and at night dragging my animals away right from in front of my home. While these conservationists sit at home at night congratulating themselves on the jaguars they’ve saved, I am sitting outside in the dark waiting for the jaguar that just killed four more sheep to come back so I can kill it. While their children are playing outside in the evening, my children are begging me to close the doors and windows so the jaguar won’t eat them.
My children try hard not to use the outhouse at night, and if they have to they won’t go without me escorting them and never alone in the day. While their children are watching TV cartoons I carry a 170-pound jaguar on my back home so I can educate them on what a jaguar looks like and how dangerous they are.
My wife won’t go to the garden without the gun for fear of these animals. And don’t let the conservationists tell you jaguars won’t attack people, as we have a friend who was attacked by one and in another village a baby was dragged off by another. I don’t think we even have to mention the jaguar incident in the Belize Zoo.
The conservationists want us to save the jaguars but I’m the one paying for it out of my pocket. The conservationists push the government to enact stupid laws to protect these animals but won’t lift a finger to help the ones who are losing their animals to them. What a bunch of hypocrites! While they sit on their behinds watching National Geographic at home I am living it. I’m the real deal; I am the one who has to tiptoe into the jungle looking for the bodies of my sheep hoping I don’t step on a yellowjaw or hope the jaguar doesn’t spot me first.
I believe with all my heart in Jehovah, and in Genesis He says to replenish the earth and subdue it. And with all my strength I have no choice but to subdue these animals till none are left to take my livelihood away from me. It’s two in the morning as I write this letter waiting for the jaguar that killed my sheep to come back. I’m thinking I better not fall asleep or I’ll be the next meal. I wonder if the conservationists are sleeping well tonight.