Temístocles Barbosa Freire (second from left) and other alleged members of a poaching ring pose with dead jaguars in photo federal police copied from a confiscated cell phone.
A federal court in Brazil’s western-Amazon state of Acre opened a criminal case against seven suspected poachers this month after prosecutors accused the men of illegally killing animals that included jaguars. The jaguar (Panthera onca), Latin America’s largest feline and the world’s third-largest cat after lions and tigers, is “near-threatened,” with its population declining and its habitat shrinking, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. One of the suspected poaching ring’s seven members, dentist Temístocles Barbosa Freire, allegedly boasted to a new patient that he had killed over 1,000 jaguars since 1987. The patient tipped off federal police, prosecutors say, and an undercover federal policeman subsequently made an appointment with Barbosa Freire, posing as a new patient. During the undercover officer’s first clinical visit, in June of 2016, the dentist repeated the claim that since the mid 1980s, he had killed over 1,000 jaguars, according... [Log in to read more]