Belize Zoo!

Well, we finally made it to the zoo! Celisha, the woman who works with Nikki here at Belize Bird Rescue, is one of the education directors at the zoo and she invited us as special guests to April the tapir’s 30th birthday celebration. She did a great job organizing entertainment and games for the kids. We listened to a steel drum band and watched young boys perform tumbling exercises. The highlight of the festivities was, of course, seeing April get her birthday cake (she got at least 4!) and singing her “happy birthday.” It was really something.

The zoo is very interesting. It is small and it only has animals that are native to Belize. There are quirky signs all over the zoo describing the animals and telling visitors that they need to protect Belize’s wildlife. They offer encounters, for $5 you can come face to face with a jaguar, through a fence, or you could feed a tapir a banana. You can tell that some of the animals are used to getting food from visitors as they are the ones that run up to you when you approach. Rachel and I did touch April’s nose through the bars…she was so soft…

Most of the enclosures are built around the jungle that was already in place so the enclosures are beautiful and spacious. The animals appear to be happy and relaxed which is a good thing to see at a zoo. The jaguars were stunning! One of them was laying right next to the fence and was chewing on his toes while we watched – he was just so beautiful! They also have a black jaguar named Lucky Boy. Lucky Boy was being illegally housed at a resort and when the owners closed up, they abandoned him and a spotted jaguar. The spotted jaguar starved to death and that is when the authorities found Lucky Boy. He was severely emaciated. The zoo took him in and nursed him back to health – an incredible story. He is gorgeous.

Today was Kathy’s last day with us. It was so wonderful having her here! We are really going to miss her. She was a yellow-headed amazon whisperer…now Rachel and I are going to have to tackle those crazy birds on our own!

National Tapir Day! Time to celebrate!

National Tapir Day! Time to celebrate!

This is a paper mache model of April - made in her honor.

This is a paper mache model of April – made in her honor.

This is April eating one of her four birthday cakes. It appeared to be a combination of fruits and veggies.

This is April eating one of her four birthday cakes. It appeared to be a combination of fruits and veggies.

Yum! She was so sweet! Apparently 30 is very old for a tapir!

Yum! She was so sweet! Apparently 30 is very old for a tapir!

These plain chachalacas were on hand to help April eat her cake.

These plain chachalacas were on hand to help April eat her cake.

Spider monkey in the pouring rain - yes it rained - and yes we got very very wet.

Spider monkey in the pouring rain – yes it rained – and yes we got very very wet.

Keel-billed toucan

Keel-billed toucan

Jabiru! An amazingly large stork. Nikki had one in rehab once - apparently it ate very large fish. It was released!

Jabiru! An amazingly large stork. Nikki had one in rehab once – apparently it ate very large fish. It was released!

Jaguarundi - kind of a mix between a cat and a monkey.

Jaguarundi – kind of a mix between a cat and a monkey.

Saw this beautiful gray-necked wood-rail in the tapir exhibit.

Saw this beautiful gray-necked wood-rail in the tapir exhibit.

Harpy eagles do not eat babies!

Harpy eagles do not eat babies!

The magnificent harpy eagle - apparently they do have some nesting pairs in Belize though they are very rare.

The magnificent harpy eagle – apparently they do have some nesting pairs in Belize though they are very rare.

Spotted jaguar - we resisted the urge to touch him through the bars - though isn't that face tempting?

Spotted jaguar – we resisted the urge to touch him through the bars – though isn’t that face tempting?

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One thought on “Belize Zoo!

  1. nancymx says:

    maybe just one little finger ever so gently through the bars to touch such a magnificent creature.

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