Owl Pal Program Rocks!

From Sharon . . .

Never before in Belize has there been an aggressive education program about our very special feathered residents: OWLS! These remarkable birds-of-prey are so beneficial to Belizean ecology. They dedicate their lives to keeping rodent populations in check. Charlie Price! Watch out! You have an army of hungry “friends” out there!

If you live in the Belmopan area, go and see for yourself. Every evening, within the tall royal palm trees nearby Government Square, the resident flock of barn owls become active and begin calling. These are happy owls! Within an easy flight distance is the main market area, home to quite a few pesky rats. The market area rats are a delicious and very welcome dinner for the Belmopan barn owl squad.

Interestingly, owls have, throughout history, been labeled with a bad and dangerous reputation. In Belize, and in other countries, owls are often viewed as sinister birds. There is mystery shrouding them. Owls are birds of the night, calling strangely, and scaring people with their wide –eyed stares and turning-heads.

Thanks to Belize Zoo Barn Owl Ambassadors, Little Guy and Jolley, this false thinking is beginning to change. Owls are cool! Little Guy and Jolley have kick started our Owl Pal Program with education awareness zest.

And now, we welcome Mona Lisa. She is a beautiful juvenile mottled owl. Mona Lisa came to us after being rescued during the recent fires. Being hand-fed and cared for daily, she quickly bonded to her keepers. The zoo crew all agreed that Mona Lisa would be a shining star in our Owl Pal Program. Barn owls belong to their own family of owls. There are the Barn Owls, and then there are the Typical Owls. Mona Lisa belongs to the “typical owl” family, and having both represented in the Owl Pal program is a huge plus for our education awareness efforts.

It is a unique opportunity to get within inches of these beautiful birds. Children and adults learn vital lessons. Vital. Simple. And true: Belize still has special and important wildlife. Protecting these natural resources so that they thrive into the future is our responsibility for the generations to come.

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