Several sessions of a dynamic day-long workshop were held recently at The Belize Zoo for our nation’s tour guides. Endorsed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the tour guides, numbering one hundred in all, embarked on a day of fun and learning.
Given that The Belize Zoo is a “must visit” destination for these energetic young professionals, the workshop started off with a history and mission of “The Best Little Zoo in the World”. Then, all were provided with learning skills aimed at increasing their ability to identify the wildlife of Belize. And while all participants are friendly and familiar with “Panama” the Harpy Eagle, the group was provided a valuable background about the work TBZ has undertaken aimed at conserving these rare and majestic eagles. What a great addition this is to a tour guide’s bank of raptor conservation knowledge.
The rose coloured pathways at The Belize Zoo have been delighting more and more visitors. As Belize’s only accessible nature destination, folks have been able to glide through the Zoo on foot, wheelchair, walker, or stroller all the same.
This milestone was due in no small part to help from our friends at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Cortland. Staff and students from SUNY’s Inclusive Recreation Resource Center (IRRC) supported the Zoo pathway transformation from day one. When it was completed, they eagerly asked “what’s next?!”
Some people think they smell unforgivably bad, but evidently, our white-lipped peccary, or “waree” troop likes the aroma given off by one another. Recently, our pack of happy warees welcomed a baby. This is exciting for all of us here at The Belize Zoo. Breeding the white-lipped peccary in captivity is uncommon. The recent birth indicates that these dynamic and smelly beasts are a happy group.
The Central American river turtle, Dermatemys mawii or “Hicatee,” as we all call this beautiful turtle, is a species which is critically endangered. Only found in river basins of Belize, Mexico and the Honduras/ Guatemalan southern reaches, few remain. This is a gentle and trusting turtle; totally aquatic too. The hicatee only comes out of its river habitat to lay eggs. The passive personality of the hicatee has made this turtle an easy capture.
For thirty children, the week of Conservation Camp meant new experiences and lots of fun. The Camp Team, Johanna Pacheco, Jamal Andrewin and other supervisors designed a week which proved memorable for all.