A four-year-old jaguar male called Max, escaped from its cage at a Belize animal rescue center when a tree fell on his cage on Sunday, as Hurricane Richard slammed the country with brutal gusts, rain and hale. Max, is allegedly to blame in the mauling death of a U.S. citizen whose body was found on Tuesday.
Authorities found the victim’s body near the animal center on Tuesday. It had bite marks on the forearm and neck, and it seemed to have been attacked the day before and dragged by the jungle cat into some nearby bushes.
The victim was identified as Bruce Cullerton by Belize’s national police force Cullerton held citizenship in both the U.S. and Belize.
Officials of the Belize Forest Department are still trying to recapture Max using steel-mesh cage traps baited with meat.
The 130-pound jaguar had been taken to the rescue and research center two years ago; the center’s operators, Richard and Carol Foster, rescue animals and attempt to return many of them to the wild. The couple has declined however, to make comments on whether or not Max would be allowed to roam free again if he is recaptured.