The Belize Zoo, a model for preservation and conservation, and a wonderful place to visit with the animals of Belize.
I will never forget my first visit to a zoo, it was in Philadelphia and I was around six years old. I was absolutely mesmerized by the wonderful creatures in front of me. Elephants, snakes, monkeys, birds …..it was a magical experience, igniting my life long love of animals and nature.
I have visited, and enjoyed, many zoos since then, including San Diego, Washington, Reykjavik, Phoenix, and even Las Vegas.
However, after a safari in Tanzania and Kenya last year, a remarkable adventure, I came to realize animals do not belong in zoos for our viewing pleasure. To see elephant families roaming free, their entire lives, interacting and loving a mud bath, a morning stroll or munching on food, at their own pleasure was enchanting. Or lion families, stretching out in the sun on an isolated rock formation, interacting with each other. I came to the conclusion that they were born free and deserved to stay that way . I swore no more zoos for me, where the poor critters are penned in cages for our pleasure.
So, on my recent visit to Belize the zoo was not on my agenda, However, a change of plans, due to a bout of a run in with the local bacteria, gave me some free time and a lot of folks, both locals and visitors highly recommended the zoo since it was world famous for it’s conservation methods. I was so glad I took their advice. What a wonderful place. NONE of the animals were captured in the wild. They were all either injured, unwanted pets, or endangered species, bred in the zoo or given as gifts from other zoos. All are native to Belize. They are kept in large areas that are as close as possible to their native environments. And the messages that identify and provide information about the animals is so entertaining. And the message is that we must protect our natural heritage. The folks at this zoo sure are proud of there’s and it is an important message for our entire planet. It is one zoo I’d recommend. I have organized the photos from my visit on this page. http://wp.me/P5GeDV-eD The billboards and their messages are just as entertaining as the animals. If you like critters and conservation spend a few minutes and you will learn a lot about the natural heritage of Belize. Like Paul Simon said , and click here for the song, “It’s all happening at the zoo” This zoo anyway.
“Like us, animals feel love, joy, fear and pain, but they cannot grasp the spoken word. It is our obligation to speak on their behalf ensuring their well-being and lives are respected and protected.”
― Sylvia Dolson,