Yuvraj Duggal is a remarkable guy! Just sixteen years old, he visited Belize last summer, and it was suggested to him that it might be a fun experience to volunteer at The Belize Zoo. Yuvraj did just that. The Zoo staff and animal crew made a strong impression on him. Being from Chicago, the atmosphere at the Zoo was quite a contrast to his city life, but a contrast which impressed Yuvraj immensely.
He left Belize, but the good memories of Belize and The Belize Zoo did not leave him. Knowing that the Zoo is working hard to provide a “last resort” to problem jaguars, cats who prey upon livestock and domestic animals rather than their usual wild prey, he was determined to raise funds for this worthwhile project.
The Belize Zoo Problem Jaguar Rehab Program is unique to the world. Rather than seeing these problem cats shot, the Zoo provides a place where they can live their lives out peacefully, as well as provide important education and research opportunities to students and researchers. The jaguars are saved, and people learn from them – a very “paws up program”
Yuvraj thought so, too. Upon his return to hometown Chicago, he went to work raising funds for The Belize Zoo. His efforts were tremendously successful. When the zoo was notified that Yuvraj was returning and wanting to stop by to present Zoo officials with his check, all were happily astonished to learn that he raised $22,000 BZ! Yuvraj had extremely good timing. Work had been started focusing upon expanding the Problem Jaguar Rehab area, but building could not continue, due to a lack of funds needed to complete the work. Thanks to his impressive work, the development of the Jaguar Rehab infrastructure can now continue.
A ceremony of appreciation was held at the zoo on the 2nd of December. In honour of such a young activist, another group of young people, the Belize Tumblers Association, were invited to perform their impressive acrobatic stunts at the Zoo once again! All were smiling as we welcomed back Yuvraj and thanked him for the important contribution he has made to the Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program. The program is great and unique, not unlike a guy from Chicago, Yuvraj Duggal!