Saturday, August 8, 2009

Moving on: the Belize Zoo

We left the Baboon Sanctuary (PHOTO 1) and headed to the zoo by 8 am in order to enjoy the animals in the cooler morning hours and to beat the cruise ship visitors; we knew in advance Thursday was a cruise ship day and our plan worked - we were the only visitors in the zoo until we were ready to leave. The zoo features animals that are native to Belize in natural, jungly enclosures. The signs are hand painted and are often rhymy and humorous as they present facts about the occupants as well as warnings (PHOTO 2). The majority of the animals were born in captivity or rescued from people who thought an exotic animal was a good pet until they became too tough to handle (PHOTOS 3 and 4: toucan and puma). The main exception is problem jaguars that are attacking livestock and pets; they are taken to the zoo to gain health and a bit of poise and are eventually placed in other zoos. I don’t think the cats are happy about it (PHOTO 5) but the alternative is another dead jaguar and the world has seen too many of those.

From there we caught a passing chicken bus and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Belize during the hour long trip to the sister cities of Santa Elena and San Ignacio in the Cayo district. HAPPY TRAILS!

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