logo Belize Zoo

A Day of Honour at the Zoo


The wonderful and well-loved book, "Pat The Great Cat", was the focus of a very special day at The Belize Zoo.   Jaguar  “Pat”, a former cattle-killer, was sent to the Milwaukee County Zoo a few years ago.  There, it was hoped that he would add much-needed “fresh genes” into the captive jaguar population.   In Milwaukee, “Pat” became somewhat of a feline folk hero. People streamed into the zoo to see the handsome fellow.  They learned about jaguars in Belize, and the problems they face.

The book written about “Pat the Great Cat” traces his life in Belize and follows “Pat” to his new home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  A good part of the book’s alluring charm is the artwork.  Fun and creative drawings, from genius artist, Francisco Mora, depict the story of “Pat the Great Cat, and with such zest and sparkle!   Mr. Mora has written and illustrated 50 children’s books.   How fortunate to have this talented artist illustrate “Pat The Great Cat”!   This is a book written by kids in Milwaukee, and kids in Belize, and the story is told in both Spanish and English.  There is more good news about this super-duper book:  It will be part of our Belize school curriculum for Primary School students throughout the nation.

 Last November, “Pat” and his feline-love, “Stella” became the proud parents of two male cubs.
The cubs needed names! A naming contest was held, and in Milwaukee, the winning entry was “B’alam” , which means “Jaguar” in the language of the Maya.  In Belize,  Jared Baeza of Grace Primary school, Belize city, was applauded for his winning entry, “Zean”.  Jared chose this name as he felt it would always  reflect the Milwaukee-born cub’s Beli-ZEAN heritage.

Jared Baeza wanted to do more.  Part of his prize for his creative naming talents was $ 100.00.  “I want to give part of this to The Belize Zoo for their jaguars”,  insisted Jared.  On a most memorable day, Jared Baeza and his Mom were warmly greeted by  “Pat the Great Cat” book artist Francisco Mora at the Zoo, After a very exciting jaguar tour, the group exchanged gifts and happy words.

The Belize Zoo has been honoured to be a part of such a significant literary achievement.  Thanks to this fun and important book, many kids will be introduced to such a special part of our natural heritage, the Jaguar.   If “Pat the Great Cat” knew what we knew, he would bow and give a big PAWS UP to Nancy Kennedy, Barbara and Vinai Thummalapally, our Peace Corps troops, the Education team at The Belize Zoo and most definitely Francisco Mora, too!


Share Link: Share: Bookmark Google Yahoo MyWeb Del.icio.us Digg Facebook Myspace Reddit Ma.gnolia Technorati Stumble Upon Spurl Newsvine Squidoo Mixx