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Predator Party At the Zoo

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Over 100 children came to the Zoo on Wednesday, the 27th of February to join in and celebrate the birthdays of two famous “top predators” who call the zoo home.

“Junior Buddy”, the famous Belize Zoo jaguar is now six.   And the also famous harpy eagle, “Panama” recently turned ten years old.  Face painting turned pre-schoolers into “jaguars”, and the local singing team from neighboring La Democracia pre-school, sang the “Junior Buddy” birthday song for all to enjoy.   Representing the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, was Mr. Wiezsman Pat.   His area of expertise, being that of Sustainable Development, reinforced the message that keeping our forest predators means keeping a good amount of our forests intact.   Keeping forests in a healthy state is good for our nation’s environmental profile and fits directly into the important concept of sustainable development.

Mr. Pat was presented with three winning colourings of a harpy eagle from the pre-schoolers and then, joining the children and teachers, went in and met our rescued happy black jaguar, “Lucky Boy”.   All were smiling as they gave “Lucky Boy” a high five.

And birthday boy “Junior Buddy” received a present which had all of his guests laughing .   Arriving on a big platter surrounded by flowers, was a very  huge bone.    Hoisted over the tall enclosure fence, the birthday bone landed in the pond and was plucked out by “Junior Buddy”  then thoroughly devoured.    Over the years, Junior Buddy has proven to be an excellent “Jaguar Ambassador”.  His friendly personality shows visitors that a jaguar is a “cat marvel”.   Intelligent and beautiful, it is a true asset for Belize to keep our jaguars roaming the forests  now and for future generations.

Panama proudly sat on his high branch and showed off his feathered splendor to all.  Surrounded by balloons and ribbons, this celebrity harpy eagle really seemed to enjoy the attention.  And a new sign by Panama’s harpy home underscores exactly what the dinner of a harpy eagle is:  Coati, kinkajou and anteater are favoured on a harpy eagle menu.

It was a morning of fun learning and excitement at the zoo.   Zoo officials all agreed that the children and teachers left feeling happy knowing that the mighty jaguar and the magnificent harpy eagle can still be found in the forests of Belize.

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