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Re: Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort [Re: Marty] #442952
07/20/12 07:15 PM
07/20/12 07:15 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,984
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
The severely malnourished Jaguar that was found at the Ballum Na resort near Indian Creek village is now in his new home and in safe hands. Love News spoke with Umberto Wahlers, head of animal management at the Belize Zoo for an update on the Jaguar.

UMBERTO WAHLERS, Head of Animal Management (Belize Zoo)
“Let me start by saying that we got a call from the Forest Department that the system is transpiring a very emaciated jaguar from Indian Creek to the Belize zoo that was on Monday. We have planned to build a very nice crate on Wednesday to do the transport back to the zoo because he was in bad condition. He is probably getting a lot of better attention at this time. It think that he was probably not having enough food. At this time we’re giving all the care we can have, we have we have all the people here that can take care of the jaguar really well. The animal is in care of the Belize Zoo. At this time we have a special diet after consultations with the consulting we designed a special diet of liver, boiled eggs, we are getting a special canine cat food. It’s going be a while. Normally, an animal can get very sick, very quickly but recovering it takes a little so I can’t anticipate how long he would recover but we are given the maximum care to this cat. We are hoping, that’s our intention to me. The jaguars are very important, they are endangered species and we how that this animal can be back to their jaguar species.”

Umberto expressed his gratitude for those who were instrumental in saving Lucky Boy.

UMBERTO WAHLERS, Head of Animal Management (Belize Zoo)
“Well, all I can say is thanks to the Forest Department officer Ms. Jasmine Ramos and Mr. Nathaniel from Indian Creek who rendered in assistance in making this transport to happen and to Tony Gabriel and Gladimir, these guys are from the Zoo, who helped in bringing the jaguar safe to the Zoo. His new name is Lucky Boy. He is lucky to be here at the zoo and be alive. Our director is very good in finding names and her father for giving her that lucky name. His old name was Bash.”

LOVEFM

Re: Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort [Re: Marty] #442980
07/21/12 06:49 AM
07/21/12 06:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,984
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

From friends.....

I don't see anyone with an excuse. If he wasn't paying them, ok. But anybody could have called for help. To just leave them there is criminal. Karas is to blame to be sure, but somebody operational on the ground should have made a simple phone call weeks ago.


"Someone operational on the ground .."

And which unpaid person might that be?


There had to be quite a few staff around, whether they were being paid or not. Since it closed in May, without at least security guards and maintenance staff the whole place would have been ransacked by now.

As I said, the jaguars were kept not in a pen at the House of the Jaguar Lodge a mile or two away but in a cage near the main building at the Indian Creek Lodge, which is right on the Southern Highway.

Anyone who was coming to work was just steps away from the jaguars. Paid or not, any human being has an obligation to help a poor starving animal locked up in a cage without food or water, or at least to notify somebody about it. The Ya'axche rangers are nearby.

But, again, the buck stops with the top guy. You don't just go away for months and assume that everything is going to be taken care of.


Any and all on those grounds, including the owners, are responsible.

The not or low wages paid, to the point of neglecting (for Belize) fair pay, are the full responsibility of the owner. Whichever way this story gets twisted, the owners have to assume full responsibility, by legal force if necessary.


A full investigation should include an examination of the fiscal side of the operation. The business report seems to claim that it is up to a 25M annual operation. I would think that in order to determine responsibility, an in depth look at who was being how much to do what would be part of the study. All operating permits need to be officially rescinded immediately and all assets frozen.


A full investigation should include an examination of the fiscal side of the operation. The business report seems to claim that it is up to a 25M annual operation. I would think that in order to determine responsibility, an in depth look at who was being how much to do what would be part of the study. All operating permits need to be officially rescinded immediately and all assets frozen.


Based on my observations of their guest counts and from what I heard, Belize Lodge & Excursions was nowhere near a $25 million business. Closer to $2 million, if that.


Their site I was on a couple days ago has been taken down.
http://www.belizelodge.com/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi

This site notes up to 25M and 100 employees http://www.zoominfo.com/#!search/profile/company?companyId=12864283&targetid=profile

However, what needs to be done now, other than some general population jail time, is dig to the bottom of the entire scheme and develop policy so that it cannot happen again.


This lawsuit might help shed some light on how it works

http://www.belizelaw.org/supreme_court/judgements/2004/sc/civil/286_of_1999.pdf


Rescued black jaguar now at the Zoo

Yesterday, TBZ officials, working in concert with the Forest Department, successfully rescued the emaciated and sickly black jaguar from an abandoned resort southern Belize. Far too weak to withstand anaesthesia as a strategy to aid in his being transferred to the Zoo, a crate was constructed at TBZ on Wednesday, and taken to the jaguar's home the following day. Then, with much patience and some good beef liver, the thin and sickly cat was gently convinced to enter the crate. Once inside, the door was slowly lowered, and "Lucky Boy" (his new name) began the long journey to his new quarters. "Lucky Boy" quickly settled in and again was fed some nice beef liver and cooked eggs. It will take a bit of time to get "Lucky Boy" fit and beautiful, and we look forward to his being a proud on-site Belize Zoo black jaguar for all to admire!

" The Belize Zoo It will be some time before he's on main exhibit. Lucky Boy needs some tender love and care off scene for a while before he's strong enough to meet his admirers. As for the resort, Forestry and the Police Department are on the case, as far as we know. Apparently workers' salaries were neglected as much as poor Lucky Boy. Let this be a lesson that wildlife should NOT be kept as pets or for purely for show. They belong in the wild, not at resorts, and, for those that need aid, there are rehab and care centers like the Zoo. A HUGE thanks to Forest Department and the BWCN for their support in this effort. We are all overjoyed to have saved such a beautiful cat from such an ugly fate."

The Belize Zoo


Sadly, this is not the only lodge or hotel in Belize that keeps wild animals (including jaguars and other wild cats, monkeys, quash, toucans and other native birds) for display. Anyone who has done any traveling around Belize knows this.


BELIZE LODGE AND EXCURSION OWES WORKERS THEIR WAGE

Workers from the Belize Lodge & Excursion in Punta Gorda are disgruntled of unpaid wages and have taken steps to address the situation. Paul Mahung reports.

PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter
“Workers of a lodge in Toledo remain very concerned about their unpaid wages. The Belize Lodge and Excursion is located in Indian Creek Village, Toledo and a number of workers of the Lodge have had enough of waiting for their duly unpaid wages. This situation triggered off a reason for a group of workers and villagers to wait at the front gate of the Lodge as explained by Indian Creek village chairman Romero Coc.”

ROMERO COC, Village Chairman (Indian Creek)
“Thursday night July 2012 information was that owner of the Belize Lodge and Excursion Company was coming in the village and immediately workers gathered to wait for him in front of the company gate. Upon his arrival workers attempted to have a talk with him but he refused to do so and instead he sped off in his vehicle. Late that morning police arrived at the scene and interviewed several workers on the date and months they were owed by the company. Having reliably informed that Mr. Carlos was still in the village police was sent to get him which they did. Both Carlos and Mr. Nathaniel Moss, the manager was then brought to the police station.

PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter
“Chairman Coc also spoke of what transpired at the Punta Gorda Police Station and payment plan.

ROMERO COC, Village Chairman (Indian Creek)
“Workers were asked to make formal statement to the police station PG Branch regarding their pay but sad to say upon their arrival none of the workers were given a chance to voice their concern in person at the station. At the station, myself, Romero Coc; labor officer, Mr. Ramos, detective, inspector Dominquez, Mr. Kenneth, Mr. Nathaniel Moss conveyed in a room at the station to negotiate and demand a payment plan if the owner cannot pay for it. Mr. Carlos agreed to give the first payment on August 3rd, 2012 and thereafter payments proceed every thirty days until all workers are paid. Defaulting in payment will lead to court case filling at the Magistrate Court by the Labor Department and Labor Officer PG Branch.”

PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter
“Coc further commented that from his investigation there are twenty eight unpaid workers from Indian Creek and many others from other nearby communities who have not been paid by the management of the Belie Lodge and Excursion for work done ranging for a period of two months to over a year. Reporting for Love News, Paul Mahung, Punta Gorda.”

LOVEFM


Black Jaguar "Bosh" Now Named "Lucky Boy"

Last night we told you about the black jaguar named Bosh who was rescued from an abandoned tourist Lodge in the Toledo District. We reported that he was rescued by the wildlife conservation network - but actually, it was the Belize Zoo that did the job. Zoo staff built a transfer crate, coaxed the cat inside with beef liver and took him on a three and a half hour ride to the zoo. He could not be tranquilized due to his extremely poor health.

He is now at the zoo where his name has been changed from Bosh to Lucky Boy. He is being nourished with a specialized feline diet to build up his strength.

You can check the zoo's facebook page for updates on his condition.

Channel 7




Owner of Belize Lodge and Excursions catching heat

The Belize Lodge and Excursions in the Toledo District has found itself in the center of controversy. That is after a famished black jaguar was found on the property of the abandoned resort. This past Saturday, the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN) received a tip about the distressed jaguar and the team quickly responded to the area, where they immediately attempted to render aid to the much weakened cat – Bosch. One of the employees of the Belize Lodge shared with PGTV the deteriorated condition of the animal.

Journalist, PGTV
The lodge has been closed?

Former Employee 1
Yes it has been closed since April.

Journalist
So do you guys know about the jaguar that was back there and the monkeys and what happened to them?

Former Employee 1
Yeah there is this old man who used to take good care of them, but it looks like when he stopped, no one fed the animals. People are saying that sometimes that Manager that lives here goes there and gives the jaguar two or three pounds of neck and back, but I don't think that will help these animals.

Bosch was much too fragile however, to be transferred from the area and so plans were made to rehabilitate him there, and then transfer him to the Belize Zoo. Meanwhile, attention has been shifted to Managing Director of the resort, Ken Karas. And while he is placing blame on an unnamed manager for the deterioration of the cat, the Forest Department is saying that the Karas was not even authorized to be possession of the cat. In addition, workers of Karas are up in arms because they say they have not been paid for an extended period of time.

Former Employee 2
I worked there for a year, but he doesn't like to pay.

Journalist
Do they owe you money right now?

Former Employee 3
Yes Sir. Here is my time keeper that tracks my time; you can take a look at it. I stopped working in February.

Journalist
How many months do they owe you for?

Former Employee 3
All of this here, for about a hundred and ten days.

Journalist
Have you been to the Labor Department?

Former Employee 3
Yes I have and they are telling me that they don't have time and that they are trying to call Karas, but they can find him.

Former Employee 4
I only got one week pay and I need to get three more days. They haven't finished paid me as yet.

Journalist
So they still owe you money?

Former Employee 4
Yes, they still owe me three more days, but they only pay twenty seven dollars a day and they are not to pay like that, they are to pay at least thirty dollars a day.

As for Bosch, well he now goes by the name Lucky Boy and he is quickly settling in at the Belize Zoo recuperating in an animal friendly and very healthy environment.

PlusTV


Re: Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort [Re: Marty] #443236
07/25/12 07:14 AM
07/25/12 07:14 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,984
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

"Lucky Boy" the Jaguar Making A Comeback

The Black Jaguar formerly known as Bosh, now called Lucky Boy - who was saved from certain death a little over a week ago is reported to be making a recovery at the Belize Zoo.

According to the Zoo's facebook page, he's eating well on a special restorative diet, and is friendly with his caregivers, eating directly from their hands.

He is described as a surprisingly calm and easy going jaguar.

Channel 7


Re: Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort [Re: Marty] #443278
07/25/12 04:59 PM
07/25/12 04:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 12
C
Caliafshin Offline
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Caliafshin  Offline
C
Two years ago I stayed with Belize Lodge at two of their camps. I did not stay at Ballum Na, so can't comment about that particular property. But I've got to say that we should not jump the gun and blame the owners for what has happened fully. It is truly a shame for such beautiful animals to have suffered so much. But sometimes, hired help do not perform their duties no matter what is done by management and/or owners. I persnally met Mr. Karas at one of the camps and had a conversation with him. It is highly aplausable what he has done in Belize. Visiting the two properties clearly marks how much he cares about the environment and his nature preservation thoughts. He has preserved so much land in southern Belize that could have been otherwise exploited. Furthermore, most of his employees are local Mayans who would most likely not have a job otherwise. So yes, this is horrible and needs to be investigated. But to blame him single handedly without further evaluation of this situation is clearly wrong.

Re: Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort [Re: Marty] #443279
07/25/12 05:05 PM
07/25/12 05:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,362
Mine Hill NJ
dabunk Offline
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dabunk  Offline
He has not paid so many people in Toledo that the police took him into custody to keep him from getting harmed when he arrived in PG. He has been ripping off Belizeans for years. He is a charmer but a like many of that ilk rips off as many poor people as he can and then blames everyone else.

Re: Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort [Re: dabunk] #443281
07/25/12 05:27 PM
07/25/12 05:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 12
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Caliafshin Offline
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Caliafshin  Offline
C
Originally Posted by dabunk
He has not paid so many people in Toledo that the police took him into custody to keep him from getting harmed when he arrived in PG. He has been ripping off Belizeans for years. He is a charmer but a like many of that ilk rips off as many poor people as he can and then blames everyone else.


Again, I do not know of his business habits with his employees. But running a large operation and still thinking about environmental preservation is no easy task. I hope for a good resolution for this issue at hand for all involved. This has been a sad story and hopefuly will be a lesson learnt for all.

Re: Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort [Re: Caliafshin] #443288
07/25/12 07:33 PM
07/25/12 07:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 914
San Antonio TX and Seine Bight...
ckocian Offline
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ckocian  Offline
The buck always stops at the corner office whether he knew or didn't know. He should have been checking on his employees. It takes but a New York minute to see that an animal is starving.

Re: Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort [Re: Marty] #443308
07/26/12 04:54 AM
07/26/12 04:54 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,362
Mine Hill NJ
dabunk Offline
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dabunk  Offline
He should have been paying his employees in the first place.

Re: Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort [Re: Marty] #443311
07/26/12 06:00 AM
07/26/12 06:00 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,984
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

A Black Cat That's Nothing But Good Luck

Over the last few days, we've been telling you about the black jaguar, Lucky Boy, who was rescued from a rundown resort by the Belize Zoo.

Today, we visited him in person to check up on his progress.

We found a black cat, who's been nothing but good luck...

Daniel Ortiz Reporting

The black jaguar, Bosh - now named Lucky Boy - is in good health, showing signs of improvement, with his playful and energetic attitude to being fed.

It's a complete turn-around in behaviour from the first day at zoo, when he was quiet and reserved in a far corner of his cage. He now has the company of the staff at the Belize Zoo, and he even has his own song.

But it wasn't such easy-going when Lucky Boy was discovered in his extreme distress. The zoo staff described his health condition as the worst they've had to deal with.

Humberto Wohlers - Animal Management Supervisor, Belize Zoo
"We heard about it. We were contacted by the Forestry Department, and we moved immediately to the cite. Find a different situation, not very prepared when you go the first time, we started brainstorming how to best transport a very emaciated jaguar."

So, they had the difficult task of transporting the jaguar, which was in poor health. They had to get it into a crate and transport it without using tranquillizers.

Humberto Wohler
"Normally, animals would take a little while to be crate-trained and any additional things in their environment change their behavior. So, we know that crate-training would be the best way - the safest way. We didn't think any more about anesthesia, just crate-training this jaguar, and having the jaguar confident in that box."

They eventually got it in the crate after several hours of coaxing and they transported it to zoo, where they started feeding it to improve it's health.

Sharon Matola - Director, Belize Zoo
"I'm really proud of my staff. It's really hard to crate train an animal even if you have an unlimited amount of time, and they did it in less than a day. So, I was astounded at that. Then, it came up here, and it was the thinest, most emaciated jaguar I've ever seen. We've gotten 14 jaguars in our rehab program. He's the worst conditioned jaguar. After you finished feeling really bad for him, you have to get to work, and get him up to score. It's just been a great thing in my life because every day, you see a steady improvement. He is just an amazingly intelligent animal. He responds to positive reinforcement. We've had jaguars come in here that it takes weeks to get them to settle down. They'll rush the fence; they'll bite at the fence. They're mad; they're angry. He was confused, and he did stay in the corner for a while, and just kind of - like any of us I think would have. 'I don't know where I am. I don't know what I did to deserve this.'"

While working with Lucky Boy, the staff discovered it was suffering from another medical condition.

Humberto Wohler
"So, once the animal got safely here at the zoo, we started to slowly feeding jaguar with a special diet. We had a group of vet students, led by Dr. Isabel, and they conducted some fecal analysis for the animals, and most importantly for Luck Boy. We found out that he has hookworm, and he's going to be treated for that too."

The staff immediately started working on getting Lucky Boi used to life at the zoo, but they were pleasantly surprised that he was a smart animal, who showed signs of good treatment at his former home, even if the former owners fell on hard times.

Sharon Matola
"So, what you do is you spend a lot of time. It's time investment, feeding him - he has his own song. He knows his name is Lucky Boi. In 3 days, he learned to do a high-five. The boy is smart, and I also like to say that I'm not really sure of the conditions that he was kept in. I've never been to the resort, but he wasn't mistreated. A cat with that personality has a background of being well cared for, so I don't know what happened along the way. All I know is that we're going to get him 100% healthy. We'll gently introduce him to Springfield and CT over time. There's a way that you can do that. We would be under the advice of someone who's done that a great amount of time in his history, working with big cats. I don't perceive any problems."

Daniel Ortiz
"Will his permanent home be at the Belize Zoo?"

Sharon Matola
"Absolutely."

Lucky Boy will remain in the quarantine section of the Zoo, until he returns to full health. 7News will return on that day to see him join the general animal population at the facility.

Channel 7



Lucky Boy aka Bosch rescued from Ballum Na Lodge now safe and recovering at the Belize Zoo; photo by The Belize Zoo

The sad story of Bosch, the emaciated black jaguar that had been found starving and left abandoned at the Ballum Na Lodge in Punta Gorda has taken a happy turn after the heroic and caring efforts of a coalition of environmental organizations that came to his rescue and are now helping him to recuperate.


Hearts were saddened and angered when word came out of the jaguar that had been left for dead in a cage after irrational and possibly illegal circumstances led to those who were responsible for his care abandoning him without concern for his wellbeing or safety. It was only after Wil Maheia, a member of the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, alerted everyone to the jaguar’s plight that Bosch’s condition became known. Immediately, a coordinated and dedicated team consisting of the Belize Zoo, the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, and the Belize Forest Department came together to provide food, vitamins and supplements to prevent further deterioration in Bosch’s condition and help to keep him alive until a proper veterinary assessment could be conducted. On July 20th, rangers and volunteers from the Belize Zoo and the Forest Department successfully rescued Bosch and transferred him to his new home and the Zoo.

Bosch, who has been fondly renamed ‘Lucky Boy’ is now living comfortably at the Belize Zoo under the cautious and attentive hands of qualified and caring professionals who are slowly nursing him back to full health and providing the necessary love and attention he deserves. On the Belize Zoo’s Facebook Page they’ve commented that “Lucky Boy’s eating like a champ, and interacting enthusiastically with his caregivers. A surprisingly calm and easy going jaguar, a special diet and tender love and care are all he wanted. He’s definitely on his way back to being healthy and beautiful once more.” Lucky Boy is believed to be about 11 – 12 years old and according to the Zoo originated from Xcaret Zoo in Mexico. The Zoo keepers say that although it will take a number of months for Lucky Boy a.k.a. Bosch to make a full recovery and come back to full health they do believe that he will certainly return to his full majesty and beauty over time.

At this point it is uncertain exactly just how many people will be charged for the crimes of negligence and neglect that led to the jaguar’s severe health and condition, however, representatives from the Forest Department and Wildlife Conservation Network have indicated that they are seeking charges against the owner of the lodge, and anyone who played a role in allowing Lucky Boy to deteriorate to the state he had been in will be held accountable to the full extent. Forest Officer in the Wildlife and Law Program of the Belize Forest Department, Rasheda M. Garcia, has stated that “the animals were clearly neglected and the responsibility for their care and management squarely falls on the owner of the lodge. Therefore the department holds him responsible and will be pressing charges against him.

In a statement posted on Facebook in response to Lucky Boy’s dilemma Kenneth Karas, the Managing Director of Belize Lodge and Excursions (Ballum Na Lodge’s parent company), laid the blame for the condition of the jaguar on the shoulders of the manager who was left in charge, accusing the unnamed person of misusing the funds provided to him for the care and feeding of the animals. Karas said that when his resort closed operations at the end of May as is usually the case, staff were left to care for the animals. Karas claims that the manager was provided with a weekly budget for feeding the animals and that as far as he knew the animals were being taken care of. Karas went on to say that this arrangement has been the norm over the last ten years, with the manager sending him weekly reports, however the manager neglected to inform him of the health issues or that they were not being fed. The Belize Lodge and Excursions boss, in his online statement, said that he only learned of the condition of the animals at Ballum Na on Saturday, when one of the company’s former employees contacted him. The release from Kenneth Karas ends by saying, “I deeply regret what has happened and we are currently working with the Forestry Department and a vet to stabilize the animal and move it to the Belize Zoo.

According to as yet unconfirmed reports, the lodge, which is actually a group of several different jungle and island lodges on more than 13,000 acres in Toledo, is believed to never have been successful as a tourism business. Allegations are that the establishment recently ran into financial problems and reportedly let most of its employees go, with the jaguars and other animals, including monkeys and birds, apparently left unattended and in captivity. There have also been reports that at least 28 employees of the lodge from Indian Creek village, along with employees from other Maya villages in the area have said that they had not been paid by the lodge in from two months to as much as a year.

Belize Lodge and Excursions has an address in Washington, DC that appears to be a drop box at a law firm. Apparently the lodge had permits to keep the jaguars at the lodge, which they claim were born in captivity, however this raises some questions as to what permits were in hand to allow them to keep jaguars on site since the pet permit application available for download at the Belize Forestry Department’s very own website clearly states that Jaguars fall under ‘Category 2: Felines’ of “Animals that cannot be held as pets”, along with other felines which are the Mountain Lions a.k.a. Pumas or Cougars, Ocelots, Margays and Jaguarundi. Not surprisingly the company website has since been taken down.

The San Pedro Sun will follow the developments of this story and provide further details about those responsible and any charges that would come as a result of the complete and utter neglect of Lucky Boy and the other animals that they were to be taking care of.

You can follow Lucky Boy’s progress on the Belize Zoo’s Facebook Page as they have promised to regularly post updates and photos of his recovery and progress on his way back to full health.

San Pedro Sun


Re: Jaguar starved to death at tourism resort [Re: Marty] #443697
08/01/12 07:21 AM
08/01/12 07:21 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,984
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
[Linked Image]

Day 11 in Lucky Boy the Black Jaguar's new life: He is recovering slowly, and feeding and interacting as energetically as ever. And even more great news! Veterinarian Steven Servantez has launched a fund raising campaign on Indiegogo, an online campaign foundation helping to promote and raise funds for worthy causes! So far, Lucky Boy's Indiegogo campaign has raised $900 US, with a target of $15,000 for the much needed expansion and enrichment of his current enclosure at the Zoo. Visit the campaign at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/187353 to support the cause. Help us give us give this gorgeous boy the home and care he deserves!

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