Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2020. 1:16 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: The Belize Zoo, a cultural and educational landmark for Belize for the past 37 years, is calling on Belizeans at home and abroad to participate in its upcoming “Virtual 1-hour Dash” fundraiser this weekend, to help feed over 200 animals under its care.
The two-day event, done in collaboration with the professional timekeeping organization TotalTime, kicks off on Saturday, October 31, and ends on Sunday, November 1.
Participants in and outside of Belize can register at totaltimebz.com and choose which of the two days they want to clock in their one-hour dash. The event has a “Run” and a “Walk” category, with first, second, and third place prices being awarded for the men and women who clock in the longest distance ran or walked within an hour. There is a $15 sign up fee.
The first-place prize for men and women is an admission for two and a jaguar experience at the Belize Zoo, where they will be able to get up close to touch a live jaguar, along with a pumpkin medal. The second-place prize is an admission for 2 and macaw and tapir experience at the Belize Zoo where winners will get to feed both animals, along with their pumpkin medals; while the third-place prize is free admission for two to the Belize Zoo with pumpkin medals.
Roxana Lemus, Lead Zookeeper at the Belize Zoo, explained that the COVID-19 pandemic was a major economic hit to the zoo, which used the money from entrance fees to care for the animals. Lemus said that since the pandemic hit, the Zoo has managed to keep going through generous donations from businesses and individuals as well as hosting fundraisers.
“The contributions of the people that sign up are gonna help us tremendously with the animals that we have at the zoo. We currently house over 200 individual animals, all of them are orphans or animals that have been confiscated or rescued,” Lemus said. “We have large carnivores and large herbivores. We have tapirs that could consume up to 60 pounds of fruit and vegetables a day and we have jaguars that could consume up to five pounds of meat a day.”
She noted that those that want to help support the Belize Zoo outside of the event could make a donation to its Scotiabank account under the name “The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center” account number 0008915. Those who wish to make in-kind donations can contact the Belize Zoo through its Facebook page or call 822-8000 to arrange pickup.
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