So, you would think I'd have gone to the Belize Zoo before today. It's not that I haven't tried to go to the zoo, but somehow something always came up. I was scheduled to do a night tour of the zoo (lots of nocturnal animals) but Hurricane Richard closed the zoo for a few months. Whenever guests visited me, I would send them to the zoo on their own since it was easily accessible while I was at work. Another night zoo trip was canceled. Two trips were rained out. My mom broke her arm. We went to the Rio On pools instead. It got to the point that it felt like I was cursed and would never make it.
For my birthday two weeks ago, Margarita and Emile gave me a coupon for a free trip to the zoo complete with kids and lunch. I planned to cash it in today. Unfortunately, as we made our way towards the zoo, the rain started to come down. It began to pour. There was thunder and lightning (we never get thunderstorms here). It looked like the trip would be canceled again. We decided to try to wait out the storm by getting lunch at a nearby restaurant. We were rewarded with a sunny, but smoldering hot afternoon so that I finally got to see the zoo.
The Belize Zoo is unique in that all the animals are native to Belize and none are captured in the wild. They are all either abandoned pets or animals from other zoos or from movie sets. The zoo was damaged pretty significantly in Hurricane Richard in October 2010, but they have built most of it back up. Lots of cool cats - Leopards, Pumas, and the famous Jaguars - plus cool birds and other local animals, such as the tapir and coati. All in all - a great trip.
|Finally, I made it.|
|Apparently, there are deer in Belize. Who knew?|
|The tapir is the national animal of Belize|
|Not a whole lot of security at the zoo - so you can pet some of the animals|
|This bird was just flying around, but let me get real close to take a picture|
|Absolutely gorgeous leopard|
|We got there for feeding time - you can see the|
chicken in her mouth.
|Junior Buddy - The Belize Zoo's most famous resident|
|If you pay extra, you can get in a cage where they will |
have him lick your head from outside the cage.
|He was huge - look at the size of the paws|
|Margarita wasn't joking when she said I'd have kids to take to the zoo|
|Fancy camera settings|
|I turned the camera to "ultra vivid colors" and then |
captured the second bird flying off - hence the blue blur.
|The crocodile was so close to the path and so still, |
we thought it was a statue at first - until we noticed him breathing.
|Playing on the swings outside the zoo.|