Belize Zoo

First, I have to say it is so hard to keep up the pace with writing about our trip now that we are home. It seems like it was all a dream and I am constantly kicking myself for not finished up our little narrative. So to get back into the swing of things (hopefully), its really easy to catch up with picture posts from all the places we have already written about but failed to upload the nice pics we have. Before we head back to finishing all the details on Nicaragua and driving back north, I want to share with your in better detail our trip to the Belize Zoo.

To get back into slow Belize mode, I need to go back to Hopkins. In our previous Belize post I went over Hopkins but could hardly portray the beauty you find there.

View from bed at Lebeha. Hopkins, Belize
View from bed at Lebeha. Hopkins, Belize

We packed up from Hopkins, the slowest village we had ever been and drove back north through the country, but not before multiple locals had flagged us down to ask for a ride. Had we mentioned before how much we LOVE the people of Belize?? You feel like you were meant to be there, as if you had always been there.

On the way into Hopkins, we had decided to take the Coastal HWY, that was an adventure. So on the way out, we had a goal, which means taking the paved roads.

 

Trash Day! Landscaping day! 2 birds, one stone.
Trash Day! Landscaping day! 2 birds, one stone.
one lane bridges on the Hummingbird HWY
one lane bridges on the Hummingbird HWY
A view of the high hills of Belize. Was pretty shocked to see low laying clouds. Loved it.
A view of the high hills of Belize. Was pretty shocked to see low laying clouds. Loved it.

Our goal was simple. To get to the Belize Zoo, camp and do the night tour. We had read about the zoo on different travel websites and averaged out the reviews as an absolute must. The sign to the zoo we had seen on our way south and it was very understated, blink and you miss it type. We are so happy that we read about this place because it was an absolute highlight. We camped at the Learning/Research Center across the street from the actual zoo. Meals are available, as well as washrooms and housing if you don’t feel like roughing it in a tent/vehicle. There are nature trails surrounding the property and a pond just polluted with crocodiles. On the property you are also likely to encounter an array of birds and at night the ground sparkles with the reflections of spider eyes, and if you are like me, you’d rather pee your pants than encounter even the smallest of them. There are also the larger of them hiding about, tarantulas also take residence on the property but we did not see any of them.

We were the only people to sign up for the night tour at the zoo. We were escorted over there after dark to meet our guide. He was extremely knowledgeable and you could tell that he was passionate for the animals. The zoo was started by a woman who noticed there was a need for an area/sanctuary for animals that had been held in captivity, and shouldn’t have been. The animals are in recovery before being rehabilitated back into the wild, and the permanent residents are not able to join their wild brothers and sisters due to being pets/human reliance, or from being born in captivity. On the tour, you meet the nocturnal animals that the day visitors are not as likely to see and help give them snacks before their full meal comes.

Fuzzy the Kinkajou aka Honey Bear. Brought to the zoo by a family who had it as a pet.
Fuzzy the Kinkajou aka Honey Bear. Brought to the zoo by a family who had it as a pet.
Fuzzy likes bananas
Fuzzy likes bananas
Kinkajous are able to use their tail as a working appendage, like a monkey!
Kinkajous are able to use their tail as a working appendage, like a monkey!
Central American Tapir - an endangered species... one that likes to be pet while munching on carrots.
Central American Tapir – an endangered species… one that likes to be pet while munching on carrots.
Although the Tapir is a protected animal, the babies are often mistaken for the sought after Gibnut.
Although the Tapir is a protected animal, the babies are often mistaken for the sought after Gibnut.
The Gibnut, or Paca. The adult Gibnut looks like a baby Tapir. The Gibnut has been hunted to almost extinction in some areas of the Latin world. Belize's many protected wilderness' help protect the species.
The Gibnut, or Paca. The adult Gibnut looks like a baby Tapir. The Gibnut has been hunted to almost extinction in some areas of the Latin world. Belize’s many protected wilderness’ help protect the species.
Meet Carlos. Pumas are the 2nd largest cat in Belize. Carlos was rescued from captivity and had been way over fed. If you look at his belly, you will notice a healthy amount of extra skin just hanging about. After dieting and an exercise program, Carlos found his perfect weight, and a lovely home at the zoo.
Meet Carlos. Pumas are the 2nd largest cat in Belize. Carlos was rescued from captivity and had been way over fed. If you look at his belly, you will notice a healthy amount of extra skin just hanging about. After dieting and an exercise program, Carlos found his perfect weight, and a lovely home at the zoo. It was awesome to learn that pumas purr like a kitty and Carlos had a meow that sounded like our house cat at home. 
Lucky, the black jaguar, is one of the non-native animals to Belize. His story is so tragic and is actually all over the internet. Lucky was found in an abandoned resort, left for dead. He was found starved and had given up. He is not healthy and the king of his domain in the zoo.
Lucky, the black jaguar, is one of the non-native animals to Belize. His story is so tragic and is actually all over the internet. Lucky was found in an abandoned resort, left for dead. He was found starved and had given up. He is not healthy and the king of his domain in the zoo.
You can give Lucky high-fives when you visit.
You can give Lucky high-fives when you visit.
Dave feeding Lucky. He is missing his front canine teeth, which makes him less a threat to snipping fingers. He was actually very gentle when grabbing the food.
Dave feeding Lucky. He is missing his front canine teeth, which makes him less a threat to snipping fingers. He was actually very gentle when grabbing the food.
Yum!
Yum!

 

This is Jr. The native jaguar to the country. Jr's mom was brought in for emergency medical care and before being release back into the wild, gave birth... in captivity. Jr is now one of the best animals to see in the zoo. He loves showing off and getting treats.
This is Jr. The native jaguar to the country. Jr’s mom was brought in for emergency medical care and before being release back into the wild, gave birth… in captivity. Jr is now one of the best animals to see in the zoo. He loves showing off and getting treats.
Lastly, we got to hang out with this snake! You get to learn about the deadly snakes in the area and how to identify them.
Lastly, we got to hang out with this snake! You get to learn about the deadly snakes in the area and how to identify them.

Visit the zoo. It is amazing. These animals need the love and donations to keep their lives protected and in good health.

Belize Zoo, we love you.

 

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