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!