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Another Terrific Tapir Day!

Over 150 guests joined TBZ on Wednesday May 3rd to celebrate National Tapir Day. Among the attendees were 3 schools that won a countrywide slogan competition: Guinea Grass Pentecostal School, St. John Vianney RC School, and Casey Community School. The students who submitted the winning entries proudly shared their slogans on attractive banners, and were honoured for their efforts to raise awareness about the importance of our beloved National Animal, the “Mountain Cow.”

 

Musical entertainment was provided in the form of superb Creole drumming by the La Democracia 4-H Youth Club and the Talla Walla Vibratation Band.

An aerial helicopter salute by the Beyond the Horizon U.S. Military project was a surprise that amazed all.. The crowning of “Miss Belize” a, life-sized papier-mâché tapir, was done by the winning students, with assistance from the actual Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca “Bex” Rath.

Zoo Director Sharon Matola led all invited guests in the annual tradition of the Mountain Cow Song sing-along, with assistance from KLIC Preschool. A commemorative Tapir Day poster and a mahogany tree sapling were then presented to each attending school.

Following this, party guests were taken to meet “Fuego,” the Zoo’s “tapir ambassador,” and present him with a colourful cake in honour of his 4th birthday. Fuego has a dual role of not only representing his iconic species, but helping to educate Belizeans about the dangers of setting fires to our forests. Wild fires do more than destroy trees. They threaten lives and livelihoods of wildlife and humans alike.

There are 4 species of tapir in the world; Belize has the Central American tapir, which is an Endangered species. It is a very important seed disperser that promotes healthy forest growth. Major threats include deforestation and vehicular collisions along major highways in Belize, including the Burrel Boom Road.

TBZ was so grateful to all our invited guests and supporters who joined us in celebrating the importance of our National Animal, and highlighting the need to preserve them for future generations.

“Belize will always be,

sweet home for the tapir and me!”


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