A jaguar used in an Olympic torch relay ceremony was shot to death after it escaped its leash and tried to attack a soldier, the Brazilian army said Tuesday.
The army's press office said that Juma the jaguar was on display as part of ceremonies Monday at the Jungle Warfare Instruction Center in Manaus. The Olympic torch is travelling throughout Brazil leading up to the Aug. 5 opening ceremony.
"Juma was a docile animal used to living among people at the center," the army said in a statement, adding that soon after the ceremonies ended Juma escaped from his leash and fled into the zoo maintained by the center.
When the jaguar tried to attack a soldier sent to help recapture it, handlers shot the animal with tranquilizers. That failed to stop it, so the animal was shot with a pistol in the head.
"We were wrong to allow the Olympic Torch, a symbol of peace and of the union among the peoples to be displayed alongside a wild animal in chains," the local Olympic organizing committee said on it Facebook page. "This scene is contrary to our beliefs and values. We are very sad with the outcome that happened after the passing of the torch. We guarantee that we will not see more situations like this in the Rio 2016 Games."