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Animal Amor at St. John's School

City kids seldom have the opportunity to get to know the wildlife which calls Belize home.  Their days are marked by urban activities, and this is far away from the magical arena which includes, Tapirs, Jaguars and lots more beguiling beasts.

Zoo Education team, Johanna Pacheco and Jamal Andrewin, work to provide animal fun for schools in Belize City.  A recent effort was in collaboration with St. John’s Anglican School principal, Ms. Griffith. They engineered an essay contest for participation from the entire school.


The essay written has to focus upon our wonderful big cat, the Jaguar.  Sensing that information about the Jaguar was high on each student’s request list, off go Johanna and Jamal to St. John’s Anglican School with a splendid presentation.

Pictures of Jaguars projected off the walls, and posters were handed out to all.  They were so very keen to learn the story of Ambassador Jaguar Junior Buddy, and in doing so, the kids became familiar with the situation of “Problem Jaguars” in Belize.   Jaguar Junior Buddy’s mother was a Problem Jaguar “sheep killer”, and her entry into the zoo was for intensive rehabilitation.  She was in bad shape, and we worked hard to see that she was brought back to a state of good health.  However, we did not know that this poor sick jaguar was also pregnant..  She gave birth to Junior Buddy, but rejected the little guy.  And that is the tale of how our wonderful Junior Buddy came to the zoo.

Also, as part of the visit, Johanna did some readings for the kids.  This is just the start of an innovative zoo program aimed at taking animal and nature books into schools throughout the country.   However, the focus schools will be in urban areas where kids are prone to be affected by negative urban issues.   Bringing animal stories into classrooms and igniting the young imagination, is the goal.

What a fun and exciting way to learn!

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