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Panama Turns Twelve!

Bird was definitely the word as we celebrated Panama the Harpy Eagle’s 12th birthday recently.  Smart raptors like Panama have excellent memories, so, every year, it’s our job to make sure the party is different and even better than the last. We certainly earned the birthday boy’s approval this year!

There were many new faces among the party celebrators.  And they all earned their spot on the VIP guest list! Leading up to the big day, 1st form students from Wesley College in Belize City received an in-class visit from the Zoo’s Education team, accompanied by Happy the Barn Owl. Happy and his friends taught students and teachers all about the importance of raptors to Belize.  Barn Owls were of particular interest, as they call Belize City home, too! Who else is going to dine on delicious rats?  Barn Owls keep Charlie Price under control.

After some very cool presentations, students were invited to submit essays and poems about raptors for a chance to attend Panama’s birthday bash at the Zoo. Talk about a good deal! And, while the older students were busy crafting their literary masterpieces, some younger students down the road were preparing for their singing debut.

TBZ Environmental Educator Deidra Mahler visited St. Joseph RC School in Cotton Tree Village to teach Panama’s birthday song to the eager students and teachers of Infant 1.

On the big day, they all joined Zoo Director Sharon on guitar, and, after taking a good look at the birthday boy himself, these talented performers sang their hearts out, complete with clapping and a little acting!

Our friends at the Belize Raptor Center also joined in on the fun, wowing guests with up-close encounters with some other magnificent raptors that call Belize home.  Raptor specialist Jonathan Urbina wowed the crowd with a fabulous Harpy Eagle Suit custom-made for Education Director Jamal Andrewin.  Jamal enjoyed showing off his six foot wingspan and looks forward to flapping those wings in schoolrooms throughout Belize in 2016.  We are eager to share with all that RAPTORS RULE!

Panama the Harpy eagle’s birthday was an action packed day full of learning, fun…and good food, too. The Belize Zoo was proud to share the birthday of our very special bird with some very special party guests. Happy Birthday, Panama!

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