Zoo Miami hopes to pair with zoos in Bahamas, Colombia and Jamaica

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Zoo Miami in the United States is hoping to pair with zoos in the Bahamas, Colombia and Jamaica under a proposal that Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez sent to county commissioners this month.

According to a Miami Today report, the three new 'sister' zoos would be in addition to a similar arrangement that already exists with Summit Municipal Park Zoo in Panama City, Panama, to focus on the Harpy Eagle, the national bird of Panama whose existence in the wild is threatened. That agreement was forged in 2001 but never formalised.

With this proposal, each of the new sister zoo agreements that the mayor suggests would come with a focus. The pairing with the Hope Zoo in St Andrew, Jamaica, would focus on the Jamaican Iguana; while the Bahamas National Trust in Nassau would focus on the American Flamingo and the Cali Zoo in Colombia would focus on the giant river otter.

The report added that although the mayor's memo makes clear that there is no money in the county budget for the program there are opportunities which exist for leveraging external funds from friends groups or foundations to support sponsorships and donations for sister zoo and conservation facility agreements.

All of the proposed pairings and the mayor's suggestions for how to operate sister zoo and conservation facility agreements would go before the county commission for approval, the mayor wrote.

Giménez noted that Zoo Miami in July 2013 entered into a memorandum of understanding with Florida International University to collaborate on conservation research and educational initiatives “with a special emphasis on tropical biodiversity and conservation.”

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