If you haven’t figured out yet from some of my previous posts I love visiting Zoos.
Alas, I especially love a beautiful Zoo where I feel the animals are well cared for and have a lot of room to roam and be, well, animals. The Belize Zoo is a wonderful example. This Zoo was started in response to a documentary made on Belizean animals some time ago. After the documentary was filmed many of the animals used in filming the movie had become socialized to humans and could therefore not be released back to the wild. The documentarian decided to start the Belize Zoo to care for these animals. The Zoo staff now specializes in caring for animals that have been abused and injured. The Zoo doubles as a botanical garden with fine examples of local plants and plenty of shade on a hot day. The Zoo also boasts a lovely gift shop whose proceeds go to the care of the animals in the Zoo.
The Zoo houses creatures native only to Belize. The Tapir, one of Belize’s national animals is proudly on display. The Tapir along with various monkeys, big cats, deer, birds (Toucans being my favorite), turtles, crocodiles, and more. The Harpy Eagle was of particular interest to me looking part Eagle and part Owl. Mother Nature’s great sense of humor is on display in grand style at the Belize Zoo.
For a $2.50 donation, the Zoo allows visitors to feed one of their Toucans. This was one of the highlights of the trip for me. Little Runty the Toucan was a joyous and excitable bird who enjoyed eating raisins right out of my hand. His beak is light as a feather, thank goodness, since he has to fly with that enormous thing on the front of his colorful head.
The Zoo also allows for visitors to get in a cage and have one of the big cats roam around and climb on top of them. I hesitated to have a gorgeous and enormous cat do tricks for me so I passed on this opportunity much to my husband’s chagrin.
Wild birds, Jungle Bunnies, and Lizards roam the Zoo in complete freedom. They are as entertaining as the animals kept in captivity. In fact, one can do a fair amount of bird watching at this Zoo both inside and outside of the cages.
I would highly recommend a visit to this Zoo for anyone visiting Belize. It is one of the gems of Belize and is a very good way to spend a nice morning or afternoon. My only criticism of the Zoo would be with its Cafe. (It only boasted American standards like chicken fingers and hamburgers when I was looking for street tacos, chicken with rice, panades, salbutes, tostadas, garnaches, etc.