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22nd Year For Zoo Conservation Camp!

For thirty children, the week of Conservation Camp meant new experiences and lots of fun. The Camp Team, Johanna Pacheco, Jamal Andrewin and other supervisors designed a week which proved memorable for all.

Put aside those cell phones! This requirement felt uncomfortable at first, but after a bit of time the campers became very  focused upon the planned activities. Yes! It was time to experience nature in Belize, which is so very special. The week began with a big cat experience. Everyone, after an introduction about the jaguars of Belize, and in particular jaguars known as “problem jaguars”,  got the chance to get “eye-to-eye” with one of our “ graduates”  from the Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program.

“Rocky”, an ex-cattle killer, loves to show off for his audience. And his excited audience was more than thrilled to meet “the Rock.” He just doesn’t appear. Our Rocky rolls and puts his big paw up for a high five. He makes it impossible not to love our nation’s largest wildcat.

Field trips are also part of Conservation Camp. First, they become familiar with hiking the trails at the Tropical Education Center. This is a special environment, as it is home to our rare yellow-headed parrot. This beautiful parrot only lives in the pine savanna areas of Belize, and is a joy to see flying overhead.    To add to the excitement of field trips, off they go to explore the forests of Runaway Creek Nature Reserve. It is not a common sighting, to see an agile spider monkey in the wild. But at Runaway Creek  Nature Reserve, both spider monkeys and howler monkeys share this unique environment. For a close up view of these playful primates, the campers enjoy watching them at The Belize Zoo. And yes!  They are all thrilled to visit the zoo at night, too.

A trip to the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Reserve is also included. Walking the trails, searching for jaguar tracks, and noting the beautiful array of birds which call this protected area home, makes for a fun day.

Guest speakers from Oceana, Be Kind Belize and the Belize Raptor Center bring another element of learning to the camper crowd. No Conservation Camp is complete without a campfire. And this is always a great way to end a week of exciting and educational events. Congratulations  to Belize Zoo Education team for putting together such a memorable week – Conservation Camp number 22!!

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