He's one of the most famous animals ever in Belize - but Junior Buddy the jaguar is no more. The big cat passed yesterday evening due to heart failure. He had a very public life, an animal raised in captivity as a poster boy for jaguar education in Belize.

We've attended his birth celebrations for most of the 12 years he lived and for a look back we go as far as 2009, and as close as 2018. Here's more:



And while he seemed to have an encouraging prognosis there, Buddy died within two years of that report. A press release from the Belize Zoo says "The exact cause of the heart failure remains unknown until further diagnostic testing is conducted." They add that Plans are being made for another Belize Zoo Jaguar to take on the role of Jaguar Ambassador.

Channel 7

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The Belize Zoo sadly announces the passing Junior Buddy the Jaguar.

Junior Buddy passed from heart failure yesterday evening, December 12, 2019. The exact cause of the heart failure remains unknown until further diagnostic testing is conducted.

“It’s a sad day for all of us,” says Sharon Matola, TBZ's Founding Director. “Our animals are like members of our family and losing a family member is tough! Junior Buddy was an exceptional ambassador for his species and liked to interact with guests; he will be missed by many.

Junior Buddy touched the hearts of countless students and visitors from across the globe, and brought joy and learning to all who encountered him. All at TBZ are grateful that he was part of our world for 12 years.

Plans will be made for another Belize Zoo Jaguar to take on the role of Jaguar Ambassador, once proudly held by Junior Buddy in the future.

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