Friday, January 13, 2012

The Belize Zoo

Junior the Jaguar
I want to start off by saying: I PET A BABY JAGUAR!!!!

We decided to go to the Belize Zoo to check out some exotic animals.  I won't lie, the only reason I wanted to go was to pet a jaguar.

From San Ignacio, the Zoo is about half way to Belize City.  It's literally in the middle of no where.  You wouldn't even know it was there unless someone told you.  The bus dropped us off right in front and then we had to walk down a dirt road for a bit.  It's like walking into the jungle.  We paid $30.00 Belizian dollars to get in and another $25.00 to get face time with Junior the Jaguar.  

First, your guide takes you into the exhibit and asks you to sit in the small cage provided for your safety.  Then Junior comes out to play.  He does summersaults and licks your face (probably tasting you for later.. but still, it's endearing).  You also get to feed him chicken (his favourite).  While you're in there, you learn how Junior came to be and all about the zoo's conservation program aimed at protecting jaguars.  The zoo has a phenomenal educational program as well.  I was really impressed with how interactive and informative everything was.  You actually leave wanting to make a difference.

Feeding Peanuts to Macaws
After Junior, we checked out the other exhibits.  We saw mountain cows, macaws, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, owls, eagles, wild boars and a wide variety of other birds.  The animals at the zoo are all animals that can be found in Belize, nothing exotic or foreign.

Baby Howler Monkey <3
I held a small boa constructor and feed peanuts to the macaws.  I even coaxed the guide to let me see the baby orphan howler monkeys in the back.  They were, by far, the cutest thing I've ever seen.  We got to talking about internships at the zoo.  I'm thinking of applying for a few weeks and staying in Belize to get some volunteer work.  I'm thinking more and more I want to get into something that involves the environment AND culture.  Archaeology might not be my thing, but hey, you win some, you lose some.

Either way, the zoo was a good experience.  I really enjoyed myself.  It was great to have a place where you can interact with wild life and still feel safe.  It really is the best way to learn.  However, word to the is a jungle reserve.  Don't be stupid like me and wear shorts into the jungle.  I am covered in bites and scratches.  BUG SPRAY IS KEY.

For your enlightenment I have included the Belize Zoo website.  It never hurt anyone to educate themselves!!

The Belize Zoo

Read all about the jaguar conservation and rescue work they do at the zoo.  Volunteer, adopt or donate.  Be apart of a cause, be the change you want to see in the world.

Peace and Love.

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