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May 6, 2016

Belize Zoo Celebrates National Tapir Day

National Tapir Day is the biggest event of the Belize Zoo’s calendar year; it is recognized every year on April twenty-seventh. But the day was commemorated this past Thursday with the celebration of Fuego’s third birthday; he is the tapir ambassador that took up the mantle after April passed back in 2014. Some two hundred students from the Pilgrim Fellowship in Hattieville, Saint Therese RC School in Bermudian Landing, Franks Eddy Government School, Saint Agnes Preschool in La Democracia and QSI International-Belize from Belmopan attended the 2016 festivities. Students who submitted winning slogans about tapir conservation were recognized and honored during the event. News Five spoke today with Education Director Jamal Andrewin-Bohn.

 

Jamal Andrewin-Bohn, Director of Education, Belize Zoo

“The highlights of the day included a flyover by the B.D.F. in their defender to wow the crowd as well as the musical performance by the mahogany Heights Dream Marching Band and the planting of a mahogany tree with partners from the Belize Audubon Society in their initiative to green the country. And so the students were then invited to participate in the presenting of birthday cakes to Fuego and his tapir team as well as several games and activities focused on the celebration of wildlife in Belize and obviously with an emphasis of the national animal in Belize, the tapir. So this event has been running for well over thirty years at the Belize Zoo starting with the celebration of April the Tapir’s birthday for thirty years. And with her passing, Fuego was then taken as the new tapir ambassador and his birthday was worked into a larger concept of National Tapir Day, which usually coincides with World Tapir Day.”

 

There are four species of tapir; the Central American tapir, despite being an endangered species, thrives in Belize.

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