01.15.2017 - 01.15.2017 75 °F
The large barrier reef (175 miles long!) lining the coast of Belize means ships must anchor far from shore. A fast tender ride still takes half an hour or more to reach land.
We hired a guide and driver, heading 45 minutes west of Belize City.
Our destination: The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center. None of the animals here were taken from the wild. It was started in 1983 “as a last-ditch effort to care for 17 animals which were left from the filming of a natural history documentary”. The animals have either have been injured, orphaned, born there, given as gifts from other zoos or are confiscated pets from the government (it is illegal in Belize to keep wildlife as pets).
The Tapir is Belize’s protected national animal. (Some call it the mountain cow.) Despite the way it looks, it is related to the horse and rhino – not the anteater! In ancient days, it was a source of meat for the Mayan people.
Most entertaining, always, are the Yucatán Spider monkeys.
What are YOU looking at?
Yes, I mean YOU!
The national bird: The Keel-Billed Toucan.
An Ocelot, really!
Margay, or “Tiger Cat”
Female Harpy Eagle
Sorry , I forgot your name!