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Welcome To The Zoo, Jabiru Donovan!


Earlier this year, a juvenile jabiru stork, “Donovan”, was rescued within the forests of the Orange Walk District.   The young fellow who found the badly injured stork was “Donovan”, and so to honour his heroic actions, his name became the name of the jabiru.

It was thought by all that young  stork “Donovan” took a tumble from his nest.  In doing so, the baby bird’s wing was severely injured.    Luckily for “Donovan”, after a quick stop at Cheers restaurant so that an effort could be made to get some badly needed water into the weak stork, “Donovan” was taken to the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic.   Intensive care was provided.  Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand and her crew of assistants, attended to “Donovan’s” injured wing, but sadly noted that it was way beyond repair.

Medications and food became a daily part of “Donovan’s” life.  Belize Zoo Animal Management supervisor, Humberto Wohlers, became the “fish delivery man”, taking bags of fish to the clinic, assisting in the dinner needs for “Donovan”.  And oh, how the youngster loved those fish!

Meanwhile, at The Belize Zoo, an enclosure was being rejuvenated for “Donovan”.  A pond for wading was added.  Logs for perching were a part of the new exhibit.  Also, seeing that our jabiru storks, “Boomer” and “Coaster” very much enjoy hanging out on large rocks, well, those, too, made their way into the new exhibit.

“Donovan” arrived needing much attention and multiple daily feedings.  It did not take the youngster long to get to know and trust his zoo caretakers.   Besides fish, “Donovan” was given chicken, liver and boiled egg.  Sound good?   Another part of the dinner plate was gobs of soaked dog chow. These savory meals saw that  “Donovan” became stronger and steadier with each passing day.

Recently, and to the noticeable joy shown by “Donovan”, he has been let out to roam in his roomy exhibit.  “Donovan” literally jumps up and down when he first enters his new home.  Such a happy bird!  “Donovan” will be a superb ambassador representing his species in the wild.  Seeing the young jabiru will surely serve to bring a feeling of pride to his zoo visitors.  Belize is home to these magnificent birds, and hopefully, will provide safe and secure habitat for jabiru storks in future years.

The Belize Zoo thanks the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, the Forest Department, and all who were involved in the important rescue of “Donovan” the jabiru stork.

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