Went to the Zoo at 8:30 when they opened after advice given---Belize in May is monster hot and the animals are much more active in the mornings than later...definitely enjoyed the birds including the Harpy eagle, toucans, mot-mots, and others, also cats including a new Black Jaguar which they just saved from death this past year, also ocelots, pumas and others, monkeys, tapirs (check out the "package" on the prime male---at least 4 feet long!!!), peccaries, otters and many other natives---I am not much of a fan of zoos, but this one seems to rehabilitate lots of damaged ones, and is fun to walk around when it is cool in the mornings---couldnt imagine doing this in the afternoon!
This zoo about a half hour west of Belize city was formed to protect animals that formerly had been kept as pets. Today it has samples of most of the wildlife of Belize, many of which such as the cats would be extremely rare to see in the wild.
The Belize Zoo is a delight to visit. It is a small zoo, about 125 different animals, but it is well worth your time. The animals are well cared for, and the staff of the zoo are supremely helpful. They were eager to talk about the animals in their care, even to the point of bringing around snacks to coax some of the more reclusive ones out into view.
You also have the option of visiting some of the animals up-close. Feeding the tapir, high-fiving a jaguar, etc. It gives you a really personal view of the animals, a glimpse of their size and personality, and is about US$5-10 per visit (beyond the cost of the admission). The entire zoo is a treasure, a great way to spend the day in Belize and see wildlife you otherwise might miss.
Fees: US$15.00 for adults and US$5.00 for children, non-Belizeans.
Hours: 8:30am - 5:00 pm
One of the finest small zoos in the world, it houses an assortment of native wildlife, from birds to mammals to reptiles. Highlights include Jaguar, Harpy Eagle and Tapirs. Most are rescued animals, injured or otherwise who now have a permanent home at the zoo.
There is a small entrance fee plus a giftshop on premises.
If you are spending anytime in Belize City itself, I suggest that you take a trip to the Belize. For such a small zoo, I was very impressed. This is all of animals here are indigenous to Belize and kept in enclosures that are similar to their natural habitat. A visit here will also provide you with a close up introduction to some of wildlife you will see in Belize but unlikely to actually see in the wild. This is especially the case with the jaguar. These beautiful cats are nocturnal and are seldom seen by tourists. The zoo has three such examples here, one a panther, another a rather old jaguar that has been trained by the zoo director to do the odd trick and finally a young jaguar that has been raised in the zoo after as abandoned by it's mother. Many of the other animals like the harpy eagle and scarlet macaw (which I have seen in the wild in Peru) are extremely rare. Each animal is displayed here with a poetic caption that can approach being insipid.
The Belize Zoo has a cute gift shop where you can by some drinks and snacks but there is no cafeteria. Entry into the zoo was BZ$16.00 and the zoo is open from 8:30am to 5pm daily.
Not like the zoos you find in the majority of the 'developed' world. The zoo is not that large but it is as close as possible to the natural environment and the only thing separating you from the animals in most cases is a chain link fence. The baby jaguar licked my hand!! (not recommended to pet the kitties..) They have a number of Tapirs (mountain cows) the national animal as well as a lot of other really interesting animals. TOTALLY worth the $16Bz it costs to visit. Definately a must...
Another one to miss! If it is included with another day trip than go with Daniel-Tanisha Tours. He takes a vote to see how long you will stay. It has some interesting animals but a zoo is a zoo is a zoo. I prefer to see my wildlife outside of cages. He does know the names of the animals so they do come up to him. If you go sign the wall. It cost $5.00US to sign the zoo wall-but when they give you the marker make sure it isn't dried up. Take a stool and sign it higher up so it stays longer.
After leaving Bermudian Landing, it was only a short drive to the Belize Zoo, located in the tropical savanna countryside. It is different from most zoos in that it does not import animals from different parts of the world but simply takes in creatures that are native to Central America. The various animals and birds that call the Zoo 'home' have not been captured for the sake of display - they have either been previously injured, are pets given up by owners when things got out of hand or have been seized by the government for illegal ownership. We had found out by chance that it is possible to stay within a mile or so of the Zoo, at the Tropical Education Center (see 'Accommodations'), so we had a great opportunity to really enjoy this collection of creatures as well as link up again with two Canadians we had met on Caye Caulker.
In talking to the staff, we found out that we could take a personally-guided Night Tour of the Zoo, with a side-benefit of allowing a free Day tour the next morning. Our night tour was given by one of the curators at the Zoo and starts with their caged snake and insect collection at the entrance building. Then, various flashlights (torches) were distributed and we headed off into the maze of wooded trails leading throughout the zoo (2nd photo). This photo shows one of their American crocs by day (when we came upon the creature at night, we could see its eyes glowing in our lights as it was submerged at the far end of its pond. It was amazing to watch as the curator called out to it with grunting noises and the eyes slowly slid forward. Eventually it reached land and continued out of the water, stopping only when it reached the fence at our feet!).
They have a great collection of big cats (Jaguars, Pumas, Ocelots, Margay and others) and many other mammals, birds and insects. The Harpy Eagle (3rd photo) is one of the world's largest and can pluck unsuspecting monkeys, like the Spider Monkeys (4th photo) off the tree tops. We really enjoyed this Zoo experience by both night and day!
Typically I am not a big fan of zoos: I find them depressing and prison-like! However, this zoo is a refuge for abandoned animals, who could not survive in the wild on their own.
Compared to big-city zoos, the Belize zoo is very small and only contains animals native to Belize. While it was a pleasant way to spend an hour, I would not drive out of my way to see it, unless you are very interested in a close-up view of some native animals. However, it had a very natural feel to it, and I enjoyed my visit quite a bit!
The Belize Zoo is a very interesting zoo. It's a place to get good close up looks at some of the animals native to Belize that we are not likely to get a look at. The zoo is a key to their conservation efforts. They use it to educate the local people and especially the children about conservation and the importance of birds and wildlife in their country. The settings for the animals and birds are very natural.
This is a great way to spend the day. Many travellers make a day trip to the zoo from either Belize City or San Ignacio. Just take the local bus for 5BZ and ask to be dropped off at the zoo.
Try to arrive early in the morning or plan to stay late in the day because this is when the animals are most active and some will be fed at these times.
However, even if the animals are not active when you first see them, the zoo is compact enough that you can make the rounds twice and you will probably find those sleepy heads awake later.
The zoo has only native Belizean animals that have been rescued (not captured) from the wild. These include the tapir, jaguars, howler monkeys and red macaws.
If you are travelling from Belize City to San Igancio (or vice versa), you can also make a stop here en route and store your luggage in the small museum while you explore the zoo. A final alternative is to spend the night across the street at the Tropical Education Center. Ask the staff at the zoo to phone them for a pick up because it is quite a hike with your luggage. A dorm bed at the TEC is 30 BZ and dinner is 15 BZ.
Belize Zoo is, I believe, one of the few Zoo's in the world that look well kept. The animals seem to be kept well.
There are plenty of animals and birds to see in the Zoo, all with fantastic colours and some just plain unusual.
The entrance to the Zoo is 8 US Dollars per person, also included is a map.
There is plenty to see in the Zoo and is well worth a visit, there is a shop on site, so you won't die of thirst.
a MUST if visiting is insect repellent, the mozzies come out in force here and will drain you dry if you don't put on spray.
The Belize zoo is a most unusual place in that it is for the animals and local people rather than for the tourists. It came about because there was a TV series being considered, and an animal trainer was hired to train the animals. Then the project fell through, so she begged and borrowed funds and established the zoo.
Apparently now, you can join in supporting the zoo by getting a membership or adopting an animal. You can also stay at the zoo overnight.
How many zoos have signs quoting Ghandi as a central feature. This zoo works hard to be humaine and only houses injured, or rescued animals. Theis is the only place where you can see Belizian animals up close(If your this close to a Jaguar anywhere else you're in a bit of trouble).
If your lucky enough to be around at feeding time you'll see Jags, toucans, Tapiers, scarlet macaws, and many more.
The belize zoo only features indigenous species. Set in a jungle theme and everything feels and looks at home. The animals are not only very active for a zoo,but active for the summer. Lots of habitat, very impressive