22 May, 2008

Business and Pleasure - At the Zoo

So, we got done with the "marryin' thang" on Saturday. Tuesday we took off (life is so hectic down here in paradise) with Mae and Craig to accomplish a couple of things. We needed to stop at the Department of Immigration in Belmopan, the capitol city, and Mae and Craig needed to stop at the Corporations Department (not the correct name) to get something straightened out with their company. We also wanted to see San Ignacio and maybe stop at the Belize Zoo and maybe stop at a couple of resorts we'd heard about.

So, we took off at 7:00 AM, heading south on the Northern Highway. Craig drove their car, so it was a treat to sight-see as we tooled along. We had a fifth person for a bit. Bruce, a friend of Mae and Craig, was going to be dropped at the International Airport. We got to the airport about 9:00 AM, dropped Bruce off and finally were on our way.

We took a by-pass to the Western Highway,just north of Belize City, so we didn't have to enter the city. The terrain began to change slightly the further we went, becoming progressively more hilly and then "mountainous" (all the way up to 3,600 foot elevation).

Our first stop was at a roadside coconut stand for some fresh coconut water drunk from the shell using a straw. Really good stuff, mon!

From there, we went on up the highway and stopped at the Belize Zoo ( Arguably the best small zoo in Central America and probably the world (their Website says so). All the animals are in natural settings, and the only animals in the zoo are either animals that were injured and can't be released back into the wild, taken from poachers or other people unauthorized to have such animals, etc.
Welcome to the Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo is very popular, being visited by over 10,000 school children each year. Just the day that we were here, there were four or five school buses in the parking lot.
School Kids Love the Zoo
The Zoo sees it as their responsibility to teach care for Belize's wildlife and its environment to the school children of the country. And the schools have taken up the call as well.

Most of Belize's wildlife is represented here. They only take animals that can't make it on their own in the wild, that are injured, or were seized as contraband or have been donated by other zoos. It is widely respected among the world's zoological experts, and is well worth the trip to visit - time and again.
Lots and Lots of Colorful Birds in Comfortable and Natural Surroundings
More Birds in Comfortable and Natural Surroundings
Tapirs are large animals and if they swing their rear towards you, run. They can propel their smelly pee great distances with some accuracy.
Tapirs of the Belize Zoo
Spider monkeys share the treetops with the birds. There's a good sized population of them here at the Belize Zoo.
Spider Monkeys
More Spider Monkeys
Some of the most colorful birds in the world live in Belize. Here's some scarlet macaws. Large birds that are neat to see at the zoo and even better to see them in the wild.
Scarlet Macaws
More Scarlet Macaws
This little guy on the left below, was just a natural ham for me. As soon as I started to shoot, he hopped up and posed like he'd been on camera before - which I'm sure he had been several times here at the zoo. The pelicans at the zoo were easy to shoot, but we have lots of them in Corozal, they're just not that easy to take pictures of in the wild.
A "Toucanette"
 and Pelicans
Belize even has white-tailed deer. I'm not sure they have a hunting season, probably not, as firearms are strictly controlled. Still it was neat getting to see the local deer.
White-Tailed Deer
Some big cats make their home here in Belize. These guys were not very active since we were at the zoo during the heat of the day. If you want to see a lot of the animals, get there early.
Pretty Kitties
Pretty Kitties
Lots of large raptors also live in Belize - the Hawk-Eagle on the right is a good example of that. On the left is the national bird of Belize - the Toucan.
Big Birds
More Big Birds
Howler monkeys have a roar more akin to a lion than a monkey. The certainly sound huge!
More Howlers
Smaller animals, such as the coati mundi below, make up a huge piece of the puzzle here.
Coati Mundi
And more birds. I don't remember what this guy is. He's a big boy though whatever he is.
Belize Zoo Birds
We definitely will go back to the zoo. After we get our residency, we plan on joining the zoo to help support its activities.

See our continuing adventure in the next installment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave and Dianna, Hey stay dry, wow, lots of water, enjoying the blog and the pictures - thanks!! Sure glad our place is 45 feet above sea level. Dick and Barb in Missoula, MT USA