Over twenty patients of the Bustamante Hospital for Children along with their parents/guardians were invited by Her Excellency the Most Honourable Lady Allen to tour the newly renovated Hope Zoo in Kingston on August 7.
The patients, so
me of whom are admitted to the children’s hospital, and others who visit the out-patient clinic of the hospital, were transported to the Old Hope Road facility to share in their first Jamaican zoo experience and, of course, to meet its newest attraction Lucas the Lion.
Tour Guide and Educational Adviser Ms. Jewel Fray heightened the interest of the young visitors when she shared important facts on the origin, eating habits and lifestyle of some the animals that were on the compound. The enthused children were quite taken with the Scarlet Ibis (flamingos) – the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the Blue and Gold Macaw (parrots) that literally caught their attention because of their vibrant colours. There were surprised looks and squeals of excitement from the group when the most talkative parrot at the zoo told the visitors “good-bye”.
Lucas the Lion lounged around in his cage, not perturbed by the fascinated visitors who were quite pleased to just stand and watch him roam around in his habitat. The four-year old animal seemed quite relaxed and, at one point, lifted his head to the sky as if he were welcoming the rain which brought a premature end to the tour. However, that did not dampen the spirit of the children who were able to see ponies, zebras, turtles, ostriches and a “not too shy” monkey.
After thanking her guests wholeheartedly for their decision to participate in the day’s event, Her Excellency, the Scotia volunteers as well as other volunteers served refreshment to the patients and parents/guardians who were on the tour. The group later headed back to the Bustamante Hospital for Children after an eventful and educational trip to the Hope Zoo.