Friday, November 25, 2011

Belize Zoo

Last week my sisters took Cathy and me to the Belize Zoo (www.belizezoo.org). It was really great. We took the Western Highway toward Belize City and found mile marker 29. Admission fees are BZ$16 for adults and half that for kids. All the animals are native to Belize and have either been born at the zoo, placed in rehab because they were a problem in their natural habitat, orphaned, or donated by other zoos. 
April, the tapir
We were very pleased by park rangers who spontaneously offered answers to questions before we asked them and pointed out things that we might have missed otherwise. We passed the howling monkey area, but all was quiet. A few minutes later they were all howling after a ranger passed by the fence and said something to them. We can only speculate about what he said.
video

Even though there were half a dozen school bus loads of kids in the park, it did not seem crowded except at the jaguar show. The star is Buddy Junior. This cat was born at the zoo to a mother who was trapped because she was dining on farmers’ livestock animals. After mom rejected the cub, he was raised by the park rangers and could not be returned to survive in the wild. 

The zoo’s director, Sharon Matola, has been nominated recently for an international award. (See http://www.lovefm.com/ndisplay.php?nid=15073). 

At the end of the tour we had pictures and movies. Unfortunately my camera chip tanked, but Nancy and Carol shared their pictures for this blog post. Carol continued to stimulate the local economy at the gift shop and got some truly lovely and unique things. 

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