John, our same guide from last year, picked us up at Municipal Airport and we headed out of Belize City, along the Western Highway, to the zoo. We stopped for lunch first at Amigos where we saw a very cool Basilisk Lizard.
We had a nice lunch and enjoyed the scenery. Finn had fallen asleep in the van on the way, so he was a little grumpy to start.
Then we headed down the road to the zoo. Calling the Belize Zoo a zoo is kind of a misnomer as it’s really more of a sanctuary. All of the animals are a) native to Belize and b) either rescued, abandoned, orphaned, injured, etc. We knew we wanted to go back this year because we had such a great time there last year. And this year they have a new rare black jaguar that they rescued from an abandoned resort about a month ago. His name is Lucky Boy and it’s quite fitting — he was in terrible shape when they found him but he’s recovering nicely. We couldn’t wait to see him!
But first, the usual roundup of their animals. Here are some favorites.
White Tailed Deer.
The boys fed these guys through the fence.
I don’t remember what this bird is called but he’s pretty cool looking.
Blue Crown Mot-Mot. I just like the name.
Ornate Hawk Eagle.
The boys really enjoyed seeing the Neotropical River Otter play around in his enclosure. He sort of looked like a fish when he was in the water, but would pop out and interact with the visitors. He’s quite social. Here he is swimming on his back.
And checking out Ezra.
It was very hot that day — probably low 90s — and all of the cats were trying to stay cool by lounging in shady areas. It doesn’t make for the best photography, but I tried.
Margay. He was up in a tree.
Jaguar. I just couldn’t get a good shot but was happy they were there this year as last year the staff was working on their enclosure and the big cats were gone.
The Scarlet Macaws, so striking, were a big hit again this year. They came right over when John offered them some of Finn’s leftovers from lunch.
The Jabiru Stork.
He’s huge and they have a cutout of his wingspan so the kids could see how they measure up.
And, of course, the Crocs.
After the rounds of the regular part of the zoo, we asked if it was possible to see Lucky Boy. He’s recovering in an enclosure in the back, while he gets used to being around people. For a meer $10 US total (which goes to his food and care) the four of us were escorted to the way back and got to spend some time watching Lucky Boy and getting information from a very nice member of the zoo staff. The cat is amazing — enormous, powerful, and gorgeous.
After that it was snake time. Ezra had been talking non-stop about getting to hold the boa constrictor again and he finally got his wish.
Finn was a little more brave this year as well — he held the tail.
I think Ezra would have stayed here forever.
But finally he passed the snake to Bruce.
And then we were done. We hopped back in John’s van and he took us to The Great House — our hotel for the night. We considered John’s very nice invitation to join his wife and daughter for bowling later that evening, but we were all just too exhausted. And, we found out that evening that our flight through Miami had been canceled altogether and we’d been rerouted on a later flight through Dallas. So, we hired John to take us on another excursion the next day. We definitely needed to get some rest!