OK! It is “True Confessions” time. At The Belize Zoo, when we received our emaciated rescued black jaguar in mid July, we thought that it was doubtful that the boy could be saved. The great team of Zoo and Belize Forest Department officials removed him from the abandoned resort and brought him safely to the Zoo, but he was so, SO fragile and hurting. However, the overall and very vocal opinion from all at the zoo simply stated: “Let’s give this animal our 100 percent!” And we did…
Hours were spent with “Lucky Boy.” Special food was brought in from the USA….”High end” food, like beef liver and beef meat, was purchased in Belize….and a strict protocol of “how to feed”.. was followed. This feeding regime, TBZ feels, contributed to the success of his remarkable comeback….Our consulting vet from Cornell University, Dr. George Kolias, e mailed us daily about the condition of our beloved “Lucky Boy”…Why do we consult Dr. Kolias? He has had 30 plus years working with big cats. And we are so very fortunate to have his input. A big “Paws Up” to you, Dr. Kolias!!
“Lucky Boy” gradually responded to his caregivers. Yes! After some behavior training, our boy quit pacing….Then! He learned that fence biting was indeed a big “no no”. “Lucky Boy” seemed to happily accept his new home. He slowly began to trust the folks who visited with him daily, telling him that “everything would be ok”. “Lucky Boy’s” comeback was indeed very remarkable. Diet was, of course, critical. However, the personal attention this animal received played a very major role in his outstanding recovery.
What more needs to be said? A look at the photos says it all. Thank you! Belize Forest Department. Thank you, Dr. George Kolias. And HUGE thank you to The Belize Zoo staff for providing excellent care to such a special animal.
Coming soon! The children of Belize and everyone will be able to enjoy “ Lucky Boy”….He is not just an ambassador for his species, but a reminder of the wonderful words from Mahatma Ghandi: “The Greatness of a Nation and its moral progress can be judged in the way its animals are treated” Lucky Boy! You ROCK!!!!