Biologist responsible for report on capybara at Ibama’s is investigated for death of another animal

Biologist and youtuber Rodrigo Moraes Hidalgo (Reproduction/ Instagram)
Ívina Garcia – From Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – The biologist and youtuber Rodrigo Moraes Hidalgo, responsible for collaborating with the report that found irregularities for the permanence of the capybara Filó in the Wild Animal Sorting Center (Cetas), of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) in Manaus, is investigated by the Public Ministry of the State of Amazonas (MP-AM) for the death of a snake and getting financial benefits from the crime.

The complaint against the biologist was filed by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) and Ibama, based on a video published on Hidalgo’s social networks, which shows a jararaca snake (Bothrops atrox) being killed with sticks. The biologist’s argument, in the video, is that this would be the only solution to avoid attacks on humans.

The reporter contacted Rodrigo to ask for a position on the lawsuit, but had not heard back from him as of this writing.


Watch an excerpt of the video that led to the investigation against Rodrigo Hidalgo:

To the MP, Hidalgo denied the death of the animal. However, in the video published in December 2021, which was later taken off, the biologist explains the reasons for the snake’s death.

“Unfortunately, some animals need to die, to protect people, and also farm animals […] If the snake stayed there, I would go home and in the next few days it could bite a child or any other member of one of the families,” he says.

Excerpt taken from the complaint filed with the MP (Reproduction/Document)

In the report of the MP, signed by the prosecutor Francisco de Assis Aires Argüelles, the text points out that the snake was stationary and coiled in “clear posture of not attacking”, ie, the attitude was not taken for self-defense or third parties, which is a crime.

Articles 24 of Decree 6.514/2008 and 29, of Law 9605-98 of Environmental Crimes, state: “To kill, pursue, hunt, catch, use specimens of wild fauna, native or in migratory route, without the proper permission, license or authorization from the competent authority, or in disagreement with the obtained: Penalty – imprisonment of six months to one year, and fine.

Considerations about the attitude of the accused (Reproduction/Document)

Financial Advantages

The investigated still accuses Hidalgo of obtaining financial advantages for the offenses, that is, for the publication of the act. The death of the snake was characterized by Ibama as a “cruel method of slaughter”.

“The offender in question owns a company called Manaus Selvagem, so it is clear that the video has the purpose of promoting him and generating profit. The Amazon, as a whole, is considered an area of special regime of use. The perpetrator killed the snake with blows, characterizing a cruel method of slaughter”, wrote Ibama in the description of the complaint.

Images taken from the video published by the biologist (Reproduction/Youtube)


In the document, the defense affirms that Hidalgo was not on work time when he registered the death of the snake. In addition, he claims that the animal’s death was caused by local residents who were frightened by the animal’s appearance.

“At the time, when they realized that it was a jararaca, some residents were frightened and even though the investigated tried to calm the situation, one of the residents expressed that he would kill the animal. The investigated still tried to insist that it was not necessary to take the snake’s life, but the inhabitant was intransigent”, justifies the defense in the request for the case to be filed, where he affirms that the sticks were inflicted by a resident.

Read also: Judge points ‘health risk’ of Capybara Filó to determine return to influencer

Defense shows difference in the clothes of the investigated and the person who hit the snake (Reproduction/Document)
Excerpt from the indictment against Hidalgo (Reproduction/Document)

Despite this, the Public Prosecutor’s Office justifies that Hidalgo could have prevented the death of the animal since he was aware that the death of the snake was an environmental crime. “Moreover, as a wildlife specialist, the author of the fact could have called the appropriate services for the rescue of the animal that was in Cacau Pirera, near where the Environmental Battalion of the Military Police maintains a control on Highway AM 070, however, preferred to make the disclosure of the criminal act, stimulating and encouraging others to practice crime”, says the lawsuit.

The justifications of the defense of Rodrigo Hidalgo were denied and the process continues in progress in the courts. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for February 2024 with the parties involved.

Read also: ‘Hug on Ibama’: Manaus has manifestation in support of the agency after the case of capybara Filó

Filó case

On April 29, four veterinarians and a biologist were accompanying the Commission for the Protection of Animals of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Amazonas (Aleam) and State Representative Joana Darc to the Wild Animal Sorting Center (Cetas), of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), to investigate the conditions in which the capybara Filó was housed.

Agenor Tupinambá (left) and Rodrigo Hidalgo during the delivery of the Filó capybara (Matheus Ponce/Reproduction via Instagram)

The report was delivered to the Public Ministry, stating that “the suspicions that Ibama’s structure does not comply with the minimum conditions of permanence for the apprehension of the capybara Filó were confirmed”. The MP’s decision was favorable to the return of the guardianship of capybara Filó to influencer Agenor Tupinambá.

Excerpt from the decision favorable to Agenor. Hidalgo was the biologist responsible for the report (Reproduction/Document)


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