For an exciting week at the zoo, we were privileged to have a training team of vet students from Cornell University, based in New York. Led by the head of that prestigious school, Dr. George Kolias, the students and the animal management staff at the zoo, explored various aspects of wildlife vet medicine.
Move over, Big Bird! There’s a new guy in town. Larger than life sized Harpy Eagle mascot, “Hope” made his debut appearance at a community school last week, as The Belize Zoo teamed up with Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE), to continue their vital harpy eagle education campaign. This campaign targets the communities in the buffer zone of the Bladen Nature Reserve in the Toledo District, which is probably the last stronghold for harpy eagles in northern Central America.
The fearless and dynamic Founding Director of The Belize Zoo, Sharon Matola, was once again honoured for her extraordinary contributions to wildlife conservation this year, by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in the USA. Every year, the Cincinnati Zoo hosts a set of lectures called the Barrows Conservation Lecture Series, where internationally renowned scientists, conservationists and nature explorers are invited to present on their work in this prestigious program, with one of the invitees being chosen for the annual Zoo Wildlife Conservation Award.
A recent Love FM Morning Show broadcast in May expanded the good news from The Belize Zoo to all corners of our country. Our current project, to see that this wildlife education fun-facility becomes all-inclusive, is marching forward with gusto. Sure, it’s a great deal of work and will take an ample amount of funding assistance, but all at the zoo view this change as a “must-do”. Jerome Flores, confined to a wheelchair, and the consultant on the change-over, opened everyone’s eyes when he explained that he knew many people who were not capable of visiting the zoo, due to their having disabilities. Looking into the issue further clearly revealed that quite a few elderly people, as well as children with special needs, were also unable to see and appreciate what The Belize Zoo proudly has to offer our visitors.
This is the time of year when Hummingbird Elementary school, located in Belize City, has “Reader Week”. Students become familiar with new literature, and the event never fails to embrace the concept that reading is a joy. This year, the new literature chosen for Hummingbird students was “Tambo The Tapir Tells His Tale.”