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Cuban kids with disabilities pet jaguars and snakes for remedy

Cuban kids with disabilities pet jaguars and snakes for remedy

HAVANA (Reuters) – Child jaguars and an intricately coloured endemic boa referred to as the ‘maja’ are among the many unique animals at Cuba’s nationwide zoo that oldsters and academics say present unusually efficient remedy to kids with particular wants.



FILE PHOTO: Visitors take pictures at the zoo in Havana


© Reuters/ALEXANDRE MENEGHINI
FILE PHOTO: Guests take photos on the zoo in Havana

Kids pet the jaguars and play with their paws, stroke the cool, moist pores and skin of snakes and provides milk to a zebu cow as a part of a program aimed toward serving to these with particular wants overcome fears, zookeepers stated.

“Within the Americas we’re pioneers in working with these unique species,” stated zoo growth director and animal remedy specialist Yaima Pueblas.

“Other than breaking obstacles of worry… it additionally encourages them to take care of and defend the surroundings.”

This system has confirmed a uncommon brilliant spot for youngsters with Down’s syndrome, autism and different particular wants, academics and oldsters advised Reuters, throughout a very robust time on the Caribbean island arduous hit by the coronavirus pandemic and financial disaster.

Cuban kids with disabilities pet jaguars and snakes for remedy

This system is freed from cost in Cuba, the place training of all ranges is funded by the state.

“They’re motivated to come back to the zoo,” stated instructor Maraidis Ramirez. “Within the classroom I already see that they’re making progress.”

Javier Lavaumena stated this system had modified the course of his son’s life.

“We’ve seen nice achievements with the youngsters… they’ve made many modifications of their lives, at college and at house,” he stated.

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Cuba’s Nationwide Zoo is a favourite attraction for Cubans, with 1,473 specimens of greater than 120 species, together with massive animals akin to elephants and rhinos.

(Reporting by Anett Rios, Mario Fuentes and Nelson Gonzalez, writing by Dave Sherwood, Enhancing by Rosalba O’Brien)