Jaguar Left Starving to Death at Ballum Na Lodge in the Punta Gorda
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.
Black Jaguar rescued by Belize Zoo; photo by The Belize Zoo
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