Holiday cheer was in the air at TBZ when we hosted a special day out for the charming children from The Inspiration Center. This wonderful institution is dedicated to enriching the lives of children with disabilities in Belize through inclusive cultural and recreational activities. The Zoo, being accessible to persons with physical disabilities, was a perfect venue for such positive engagement. Teaming up with conservation colleague, Colette Kase, and the folks at the Inspiration Center, the children and their families were given a day to remember!
Zoo staff kicked off the day with a “VIP” tour for 50 guests, including the children, their families, and Inspiration Center staff. The weather was just right for the Zoo’s “wild residents” to be up and active. Tapirs, toucans, macaws and monkeys all came over to greet our special guests. Junior Buddy the jaguar eagerly showed off his climbing skills, while Panama the harpy eagle flew right down near his admirers, and happily chirped away, as if he had a lot to say! Guests of all ages were thrilled to have close-up animal interactions. Many were grateful for the fun facts they were learning about these amazing creatures that share our home.
Meeting so many exciting animals always works up an appetite. At the end of their VIP tour, guests were treated to a feast complete with special cupcakes designed by young baker extraordinaire, Sophia Mena. When bellies were filled, another surprise was revealed: every child was invited to pick out their favourite Zoo t-shirt, a gift from a group of “secret Santas.” A not-so-secret Santa then appeared and gifted each child their own copy of “The Adventures of Hoodwink the Owl.”
This inspirational day was a great way to celebrate the spirit of the Season. TBZ sends out a huge “paws up” all the fabulous friends and donors that helped make all this possible. Happy Holidays, everyone!