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             Tuesday, January 1, 2008 

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Tikatoo, jaguar at Banana Bank
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The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) is a statutory body designed to modernize the Agricultural Health Services in Belize. It was established under the Laws of Belize. BAHA is governed by a Board of Directors, which is the policy making organ of the Authority, with representatives from both Government and the Private Sector. Our mission is to provide optimum, competent and professional services in food safety, quarantine, plant and animal health in order to safeguard the health of the nation and facilitate trade and commerce.
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Tikatoo, jaguar at Banana Bank

We are beside ourselves with joy not only because 'tis the season to be jolly but because we have a new member to the Banana Bank family !!! After a very long awaiting we are privileged once again to be caretakers of a beautiful female jaguar. In April of 1981 a baby female jaguar was found in the Melinda Forest Reserve in the Pine Ridge. The first time we saw her she was small enough to hold in our hand. She may have been a runt or a reject from twins that are often born. Typically one may be left behind.

The Belize Government gave her to us to care for which we did for 25 years and 7 months. At that time there was no zoo or Jaguar Preserve. We named her Tika and she was the star of many television productions, posters and wild life programs. She died on December the 8th of 2006.

We asked the Belize Forestry Department to consider us if another orphan became available. In early September of this year, this baby female jaguar was found by some loggers back in the Yalbac area when a tree fell near the place where she was hiding. The mother was not there and the loggers retrieved the tiny baby. History repeated itself in that the zoo was occupied with a baby jaguar born this year and the Jaguar Preserve regarded her too small to fend for herself in the wild within the reserve so once again Belize Forestry Department entrusted us her care. We have named her Tikatoo insomuch as she certainly reminds us of our beloved Tika.

Photograph courtesy Banana Bank Lodge              
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