Category Archives: Nature

Bajan Lions & 4-H Club volunteers clean beach. That’s EXACTLY what this rock needs!

Barbados Beach Cleaning

There might be hope yet!

by passin thru

Talk, talk, talk is mostly all you get ’bout this place. I’ve been guilty of it too. “Why doesn’t somebody do something about (fill in problem here)?”

Part of the problem is an attitude of “Guvment do it”, and truth be known Bajans have been told for generations that government is a solution to everything. Didn’t bother to have insurance for that house of yours that burned down? No problem – guvment repair it. Woman has four children by seven different men and can’t find a place to live? No problem – guvment find you a place.

That kind of thing nurtures an expectation of cradle to grave service and problem solving by the government, but we’ve run out of money, and in truth sometimes guvment isn’t much good for anything practical.

Now look here in the Advocate and there’s some children cleaning up Silver Sands Beach – for Bajans and for the tourists. Lions Club prey on unsightly seaweed, issue rally cry

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Thank you to Ranica Worrell, Akera Walcott, Denico Trotman and Bryan Haynes!

Could we do this every three months country wide?

Think about that. Our beaches could once again be the best in the world.

Leaders, please step forward. I’ll give four mornings a year on a national clean-up.

How about you?

(Thanks to the Barbados Advocate for the picture.)

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Report: China foremost country in blood ivory trade. Involved at every level.

China blood ivory

“Chinese traffickers are present in every range state and operate at nearly every point along the ivory supply chain.”

“Many conservationists believe that there is covert approval from the top levels of the Chinese administration, that ivory processing and possession is their cultural right, a right which cost tens of thousands of elephant their lives in recent years.”

eTurbo News: China involved in almost every ivory bust

 

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Why no solution on the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary?

Barbados Graeme Hall Sluice Gate (click photo for large)

Deliberate destruction of a RAMSAR Treaty natural wetlands

The last mangrove swamp in Barbados is being deliberately destroyed by the Barbados government – so that private interests (read ‘friends of the ruling party’) can benefit financially by squeezing out the foreign philanthropist / owner and then developing the area into condominiums and industrial parks. This is not an unheard of scenario in Barbados, especially with agricultural lands and natural / scrub / coastal areas. It also is common for landowners to spend decades trying to re-classify agricultural and other natural lands for development, only to be refused time and time again.

Then some person will come along and offer just a little bit over the agricultural value and the discouraged and beaten owner will sell. A few weeks later, the land is approved for development and quickly resold for a hundred times what was paid. That is the real Barbados!

The only problem with the Graeme Hall swamp is that the owner, a Canadian philanthropist named Peter Allard, doesn’t want to develop the area: he wants to preserve this precious natural resource for the Bajan people. Earlier Allard volunteered to have the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary incorporated into a National Park. That didn’t work out when the greedy hands of career politicians wanted their cut or NO DEAL! Now that political elite is determined to have it all.

It might take more twenty more years for the cabals to get hold of what is probably the most valuable land on the south coast, but the elites think in generations and they know that there are other foreign chickens to pluck until that time arrives. The elites own the courts and the government, so they have plenty of time.  Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Wildlife

Bridgetown Careenage and Harbour beautiful… but deadly to Sea Turtles

Honey Bea Fishing Barbados

Honey Bea III refuses to answer accusation of fishing for turtles

Contributed by BFP reader CJB

The Careenage and Harbour used to be a garbage strewn muddy dump. They have spent years cleaning it up and landscaping the surrounds. They have even restored the lift bridge to working order. However now that the area has been cleaned up and the water is far less murky (polluted?) turtles have started to appear, largely attracted by the free food from the deep-sea fishing boats moored there.

Unfortunately some of the deep-sea fishing vessels are now also trying to catch the turtles with rod, line and hook. The boat we saw was Honey Bee III. (Editor’s note: I think he means Honey Bea III)

They had a rope over the side with what looked like the entrails of a large fish at the end of it – two Hawksbill turtles were attempting to get bits off it. One was an adult, another a juvenile. However there was another conventional fishing rod and line with hook also dangling in the water. It was baited with fish – quite why it was there is a moot point. It was this that the adult turtle got caught on – obviously attracted to the bait on the hook. There was quite a struggle by one of the guys to ‘land’ it and the rod bent right down. Eventually the turtle surfaced and its head broke the water – my photo in hi-res clearly shows the line from the rod to the hook in its beak.

Then the line snapped and the turtles (both) swam off. The two staff carried on gutting a barracuda as though nothing had happened. The whole incident also witnessed by a number of tourists.  Continue reading

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New IADB coastal environment loan: Will Barbados now repair the Graeme Hall sluice gate?

Graeme Hall wetlands being destroyed for want of a sluice gate

Congratulations, folks… we got another loan! I’ve lost track of how many hundreds of millions of dollars our grandchildren owe to the IADB and other global bodies. Does anybody know?

According to Prime Minister Stuart, this new loan makes Barbados “a champion of coastal best practices”. Wow! All you have to do is borrow the money for a study (yes, a study), make an announcement and you’re a “champion”. Once again in Barbados it is words that matter, not achieved results. (See Caribbean 360 Prime Minister touts coastal management project)

The amazing thing about these loans is that without many exceptions the money is always for “studies” and “initiatives” that never seem to have a tangible result or quantifiable success. Smart guys, these politicians (for they are 99% men) – they never set themselves up for failure by announcing projects where the results can be measured and compared against pre-established benchmarks for success.

Even when they are supposed to establish a hard infrastructure component, the record is terrible. One example: We borrowed the money for a waste treatment plant then spent the money on something else. We now have no money and no waste treatment plant. Gotta love those politicians!

Also missing from the Prime Minister’s analysis that Barbados is an environmental “champion” is his government’s abysmal record on the environment. We don’t even have an Environmental Protection Act. That’s right folks… Barbados has no environmental laws pertaining to the land, air or inland water. We have no environmental regulations about the storage, use or disposal of deadly chemicals. No environmental regulations requiring pipeline operators to monitor and report leakage. We’re still pulling up jetfuel from coastal wells around the Shell airport pipeline and there’s nothing the government will do about it because there is no law against it and zero enforcement. Not to forget the government itself dumping raw sewerage into the RAMSAR protected Graeme Hall wetlands! Unbelievable.

And, one of the first acts of the new DLP Government when elected four years ago was to remove the environmental protections to allow development on the coastal watershed surrounding the last remaining mangrove swamp. Freundel Stuart and his DLP kissed goodbye to the Graeme Hall National Park so they and their developer friends could make money. Continue reading

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Troublemaker calls for environmental testing at Jada Construction beach project

Director of Jada Group calls complaint “Ridiculous”

Jada Construction Company representatives are quoted in today’s Nation stating that no chemical or waste was pumped into the sea from their Road View, St. Peter project.

Jada Group director Philip Tempro calls a complaint by the troublemaking Mullins Bay blogger “ridiculous” and confirmed that he’s seen the stories and photos on the internet – presumably at Mullins Bay Blog and here at BFP.

Site supervisor Larry Maynard told The Nation that “several gallons” of seawater had been pumped back into the ocean during the construction and that Coastal Zone Management and Town and Country Planning have been “constantly” monitoring the project. (Constantly? I don’t see them in photos of the construction site when the pumping was happening!)

“Several gallons?”

Have a look at the above photo of the discoloured “chemical smell” sea, taken by the Mullins Bay Blog “troublemaker”. Does that look like “several” gallons to you… or several hundred or several thousand?

A pity that our blogging friend hadn’t thought to fill a couple of sample jars for testing. Why two? One for the Environment Ministry and one to be sent to an independent laboratory over and away to be compared with the government results. Everybody knows the reason why you have to do that! It’s the only way to keep things honest ’bout hey where the big money boys can make lab results change by magic.

The Mullins Bay troublemaking blogger also says that the new seawall is being constructed too close to the sea. Companies regularly do that when they can get away with taking a little more of the coast. We’ve all seen it happen a dozen times.

This time though, our blogging friend has asked for the authorities to come in, take measurements and also to test the water coming out of the pumps and in the general area of the discharge.

Will CZMU, the Environment Ministry and T & C Planning really look at the construction site, and deliver a public and transparent examination?

This being Barbados I wouldn’t hold my breath, but maybe we’re being too critical. Maybe the authorities will be on site today. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more on that from Mullins Bay Blog.

Further Reading

Now look here, folks. You should go to The Nation to read Sea Fear. Please do it now.

But.

You know how it is… The Nation has a record for deleting and changing news stories to re-write history, so to preserve the truth and the integrity of our post we have to print their whole story here. But please do read it at the Nation. They did a good job covering this news and they deserve your visit… Continue reading

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SAFETY WARNING: Mullins Bay fouled by dirty water, chemicals from JADA construction site.

Blue sky, Caribbean sea… and the filth near shore

Turtles in trouble – swimming in JADA’s swill

Royal Westmoreland Beach Club patrons also exposed

Our friends at Mullins Bay blog are sending out a safety alert after tying to take a sea dip on Tuesday afternoon, September 27, 2011.

Where is the Coastal Zone Management Unit? Where is the Minister of the Environment? Where is Prime Minister Stuart after his fine fine coastal environment speech at the United Nations? Where is former Environment Minister Elizabeth Thompson whose BLP government couldn’t pass an Environmental Protection Act in 15 years of majority government?

Swimming in JADA Construction’s filth

This blogger was taking such a dip in the sea today around noon and all was going swimmingly until I noticed a foul chemical odor in the water and noticed that it had turned milky. I decided that something bad was happening and that I needed to get out of the water as quickly as possible. It was then that I noticed a juvenile turtle sticking its head out of the milky water in the nearshore area as if it were suffocating and/or struggling to to leave the area…

It was only after complaining to relatives visiting from the UK and USA who had gone about two hundred yards up the beach to Mullins that I learned of the source of the discharge – the JADA construction site opposite the Texaco Service Station in Road View, St. Peter. I was swimming in JADA’s swill.

Full story/photos/video at Mullins Bay Blog: Beware of Mullins Beach Area

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Green Antilles – Excellent Caribbean environmental website

We’ve added Green Antillies blog to our sidebar links and we hope you enjoy the news, stories and links as much as we do. Our friend Thérèse Yarde takes a little bit of Caribbean environmental news, mixes in some alternative energy features and stories about wildlife, reefs and agriculture to create a superb daily read.

If you are interested in Caribbean environment, nature conservation and energy, Green Antillies.com is for you!

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Prince of Barbados: Save our East Coast from development!

Government promises are empty: National Catastrophe instead of a National Park

Bajan Prince here once again to inform you that yet another nail has been put in the coffin on the East Coast of Barbados, as yet another developer plans to develop 95 acres of beachfront in Boscobelle into some “massive upscale residential development.”

This news is heart wrenching to me. Like most Bajans who are not part of the government, I have always been against the destruction of our beautiful country by indiscriminate development. Although the developer, Candelisa Resorts, boasts that this project will be “environmentally friendly” we all know that this development will surely begin the “condo-zation” of the whole Eastern coastline, one of Barbados’ last unspoiled stretches of  coast.

A call to action for all Bajans!

Fortunately, with immediate and relentless civil action, this development will not go down! We as a people NOW need to wake up and realize that government promises are empty and that our MPs who  represent us in Parliament are willing to go through with, NOT a national park, but actually a national catastrophe, that being the destruction of our beautiful isle. This island is too precious to be robbed of her captivating natural assets.

From east to west our island Barbados is de best and we MUST, ABSOLUTELY MUST safeguard her until the end of time.

Barbados has lived long and she will continue to live long even after we are gone. Let’s respect her and show her our undying love by treasuring her. I see Barbados as my island mother, one that I look to for comfort, one that I turn to for confidence and one that I rely on for joy. I will FIGHT long and hard to protect her, my mother, my island, my Barbados!

LONG LIVE BARBADOS!

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Environmental Protection Department’s 40th Anniversary Sham

Environmental Tour to avoid Graeme Hall sluice gate (above photo), West Coast beach disaster, Mount Stinkeroo

Don’t ask why Barbados lacks environmental protection legislation or off the bus you go!

Barbados is celebrating 40 years of no environmental protection legislation with a carefully staged bus tour this Saturday. A press release from the BGIS says,

EPD rides to visit wetlands, mangroves

A glimpse into the wetlands and mangroves of Barbados will be given when the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) hosts a bus tour as part of its 40th Anniversary Celebrations.

The free tour, which also falls during Environment Month, will be held on Saturday, June 18.  It will offer the public the opportunity to see some of the island’s greener locales and ecosystems first hand, while learning more about what and where they are and how they develop.

It all sounds so environmentally positive, doesn’t it? Just the use of the words “mangroves”, “wetlands” and “ecosystems” has me seeing green and feeling good about our island home. That is, if I ignore the abandoned refrigerators just west of Grape Hall, forget about the Shell jet fuel in the south coast water wells and don’t look at the the green/brown effluent at Bathsheba that flows into the sea.

In one sense, we can’t blame the Environmental Protection Department workers for wanting to celebrate the very existence and survival of their abused and underfunded department. It’s not their fault that for over 40 years successive governments deliberately failed to pass Environmental Protection Legislation or give the EDP proper tools to do the job.

Both the DLP and the BLP preferred to take cash political donations from the corporate polluters instead of putting Barbados first.

Polluters don’t like environmental laws, so our politicians took their money and delivered what they were supposed to: no environmental legislation, protection of corporate polluters, and profits to the auto dealers and road construction companies.

So now we have a legacy of 40 years of no environmental laws, wholesale rape and development of the last remaining wetlands, and a transportation policy that involves ever more roads and ever more vehicles. The construction, auto industries and politicians make the money, while our island is paved over bit by bit. Sounds about right if you have an offshore account in Switzerland or Miami.

“We” borrowed tens of millions for a West Coast sewer project – then spent the money on something else (probably more roads for more cars) and left the sewerage flowing into the water table, the RAMSAR wetlands and the sea.

The politicians and their developer friends are deliberately killing the last remaining mangrove forest at Graeme Hall – and God forbid that Barbados should ever have modern garbage disposal / power creation facilities as do some modern small island nations. Oh no! We’d rather just pile the stuff higher and higher and let the poisons leach into the water and sea – that is when it doesn’t touch off itself and burn for a few months or a year. It’s not called Mount Stinkeroo for nothing, ya know!

So enjoy the bus trip folks, but when you get to the wetlands, ask the tour guide why successive governments have refused to repair the RAMSAR Wetlands sluice gate for 15 years. When you drive by the West Coast, ask why the government approved the groynes that destroyed the beaches. Ask how much money the DLP and BLP received from Shell Oil and the Simpsons of auto-dealer fame. Ask why Barbados has no Environmental Protection Act.

Don’t let the “celebration” go to waste. Demand answers and make some noise.

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National Geographic quotes Barbados PM at Nobel Laureate Symposium – Perpetuates the Con Job

PM Stuart talks “Global Sustainability” while destroying the last mangrove forest on the island


National Geographic VP John Francis fooled into thinking words equal action

Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart just returned from the third Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability where he rubbed shoulders with Nobel prize winners and famous and not so famous environmentalists and world leaders.

Not only did PM Stuart attend the conference in Stockholm, Sweden – he played an active role with the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability and conducted an open discussion with the crowd. Former US President Bill Clinton listened to our Prime Minister quote Martin Luther King: “There is no deficit in human resources, the deficit is in human will.”

National Geographic quoted Freundel Stuart like he really meant what he said and would back it up with action.

We at Barbados Free Press say…

“Our plea to National Geographic: Come to Barbados and see the destruction for yourself. Examine the reality, then write. Don’t empower those who say fine words but are really selling out our natural environment for money.”

While Freundel Stuart mouthed his fine words, back home his Democratic Labour Party government is conducting a strategic campaign to destroy the last remaining mangrove forest on the island so it can be commercially developed. Money has always trumped the natural environment in Barbados and Stuart’s DLP is continuing the practice. Continue reading

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Essay contest winner Juwayriyah Nana: “At whose expense do we litter on our beaches…”

“Do we want these underwater kingdoms to perish like those on land?”

Juwayriyah Nana of Harrison College took 3rd Place (and $250!) in the Age 14-18 category of the 2011 national Canada-Barbados Environmental Essay Contest.

Here is Juwayriyah’s winning essay…

Why is the Environment Important to Barbados?

What about nature? It’s our planet’s womb.” Michael Jackson’s Earth Song perfectly echoes the essence of Mother Earth’s importance to the world. Nature is the world’s womb from which life evolves and from which mankind survives, then, does it not have a right upon us, the humans, who exploit it and leave a trail of destruction? This is the picture everywhere: burnt forests, eroding coastlines, increase in illegal dumping turning our surroundings into hazardous disasters waiting to happen. Barbados is not an exception and we need to identify the importance of the environment to us. For as Earl Nightingale said, “Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.” So, if a negative attitude pervades our people, their thoughts will translate into negative effects for our surroundings. Continue reading

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Cove Bay, The Three Sisters and the Barbados National Trust

The Barbados National Trust is toothless because that’s the way the politicians planned it

by Manjack

It is rather so easy and opportunistic to hurl brickbats at Karl Watson (photo above) and the Barbados National Trust (BNT). But we should be mature and politic enough to recognise that the Trust cobbled together by the late Ronald Tree, the Bajan political elite and their courtiers was never meant to be a quango of serious clout to protect Bajan heritage. The politicians meant it to be toothless. It was never to be an organisation to influence public policy on behalf of Bajans and help in the retention and care of the heritage our ancestors left us.

The trust was created no doubt with the best of intentions, but it is an insignificant sham. This is a truism that the BNT surely recognise.

Karl Watson and his worthy colleagues must by all accounts be given the highest respect for what they have been able to achieve over the past years despite the restrictions imposed upon them by the big belly third rate politricksters who populate the talking shop in Heroes Square.

With the active connivance of corrupt politicians, a dysfunctioning and incompetent Town Planning Department managed by Mark Cummings who should of been sacked and replaced years ago, we have been witness to the obscene destruction of the West Coast, demolition of slave huts, rich white property developers/landowners behaving in the most contemptuous manner eg (Bjorn Bjerkman building barricades and fencing off black families in Road View/St.Peter), and the Williams brothers exploitation and crass concreting of fertile lands. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Environment, History, Nature, Politics

British Virgin Islands student really, really gets it about tourism and the natural environment

“When it comes to tourism, however, the British Virgin Islands needs to look less at bringing in and more at what is already here. When it comes to tourism it is less about the temporary “artificial” attractions and more about the timeless beauty of the islands themselves. Tourists don´t want a holiday experience that can be achieved at just any destination; they want a unique cultural experience like none they have had before.”

Above photo: Barbados: South Coast Boardwalk yesterday.

“Tourists that not only visit our island but continue to visit every year do not come because of any complicated man-made structure. They come simply because they can relax in a secluded, friendly and clean environment. Clean environmental surroundings can make a big impression on people; it says a lot about what you think about yourself and country. If we keep our environment clean and comfortable the tread of annual visitors will increase. Continue reading

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Barbados Environmental Essay Contest: $4,000 in cash prizes

Contest Submission Deadline is fast approaching!

Submission deadline is February 19, 2011 in the first Annual Environmental Essay Contest for students ages 9-18. Continue reading

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Lowe out, Kellman in as Barbados Environment Minister: Still no laws or standards

The shared DLP and BLP legacy continues

Denis Kellman, MP for St. Lucy, was sworn in on Tuesday, January 4th as the new Environment Minister. The post was previously occupied by Denis Lowe, who was hospitalized a few days ago in critical condition with respiratory problems.

Barbados does not have any Environmental Protection Act or standards for the handling, use and disposal of hazardous substances because successive DLP and BLP governments haven’t bothered to enact any in 44 years of independence.

Each year for the past 20 years successive Environment Ministers promised to implement an Environmental Protection Act but did not do so. Minister Denis Lowe promised the act would be made law in 2009 and again in 2010. BLP Environment Minister Liz Thompson told the same stories throughout her tenure and then wasted some 200 million dollars on a doomed-from-the-start foolish project to build a landfill on shifting soil in the Scotland District.

This lack of environmental laws, coupled with government policies that do not recognise the importance of green space and environmental planning has led to wholesale development on the west and south coasts. The blockage and destruction of much of the natural watershed has resulted in serious and continuing flooding in many areas at the slightest rain.

We have no mandatory recycling or local pickup. There is jet fuel contamination of wells on the south coast and we’re dumping raw sewerage into the RAMSAR wetlands while selling off green space to politicians’ developer friends. Previously protected environmentally sensitive land at Graeme Hall has already been re-zoned by the DLP to allow development. Continue reading

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Remembering the old Casuarina Beach Club

Casuarina Beach Club Retrospective

The last time I was in Barbados (September 2003), I stayed at the Casuarina Beach Club. Located about ½ mile south of the busy tourist hub of St. Lawrence Gap, the Casuarina was an absolutely wonderful place and had done so much towards community tourism and safeguarding the environment. It was only 1 ½ years later (in Spring 2005) that the Casuarina closed up shop and the property was sold to Almond Resorts. In my Eulogy to the Casuarina Beach Club, I discussed my feelings towards this hotel in detail.
At this time, I would like to share some memories with you of this special hotel in a short video that I put together. Enjoy!

… from Calypso Island Chronicles: Eulogy for the Casuarina Beach Club

Our thanks to an old friend who sent us this video and said “This almost makes me cry. This clip was sent to me by a friend who used to visit Barbados in the past. They have planned to visit Barbados this winter and won’t find the ambiance that used to bring them back to Barbados.”

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Youths, Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, save rare Osprey in Barbados

Bird’s mate never gave up. Soared above Graeme Hall every day calling for partner.

Wildlife caretakers released an osprey back into the wild this past week after it had undergone rehabilitation for injuries and malnutrition.

The osprey had been brought to the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary by a group of youths.  The bird was weak, severely dehydrated and could not fly because of severe degradation of its muscle mass.  Dr. John Duckhouse, the consulting veterinarian for the Sanctuary began an immediate regimen of antibiotics and protein-rich fish diet.

The hand-fed diet consisted largely of sprats, a herring-like fish, beginning with 3 sprats the first day of the rescue.  The osprey was eating 16 sprats a day by the end of the rehabilitation.

The rescue and rehabilitation was managed by Sanctuary manager Barbara Garcia and staffer Paul Rochester.  While the rehabilitation was underway, the osprey’s mate continued to fly over the Sanctuary calling for its stricken companion.

The release was done from the Lakeside Lawn area of the Sanctuary.

As Sanctuary staff and wildlife experts watched, the bird flew down the little hill gathering speed as it then began climbing to meet its mate who was waiting high above over the lake.

The Sanctuary Cafe and Lakeside Lawn Now Open!

The beautiful and tranquil SANCTUARY CAFE and Lakeside Lawn of the Sanctuary are now open to the public on a limited basis. However, there are no tours of the rest of the facility, and all Interpretive walkways, Aviaries and Exhibits remain closed to the public. Continue reading

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