I was wandering along looking at the photos of the Hardy Eagle I’d just taken on my phone when I sensed it was time to look up. As I did I was presented with a tired Jaguar, slowly yawning and making sure to bare every single one of his teeth to me. I took a step back before spotting the sign warning me to be careful. Looking over the barrier there was a huge crocodile, not doing anything, just sunning his back and laying in wait. Zoos are all kinds of spooky scary when you’re the only one in it. I double, then triple, checked that Jaguar couldn’t get out before I felt comfortable enough to take a photo. He looked like he wanted a piece of me, and I had no pieces to give.
Where had all the people gone? This was not your average day out at London Zoo where the kids scream and squeal the animals away before you’ve had chance at a peak. I saw so many animals at the Belize City Zoo yesterday, a few of them I never even knew existed.
Belize City Zoo is quite small, but you get to see about 30 different animals. All of them have been saved from death and will either stay in the zoo, or they’re trying to work on them to release into the wild again. None are bred specifically to be incarcerated – not like other zoos.
I went on a Monday and the zoo was so peaceful. There was me, a few couples and just one American tour group slowly making our way around. In fact it was so peaceful, it was kind of spooky. You could hear the howler monkeys screaming from the rooftops, the pigs grunting and the parrots chatting among themselves. It meant I got an excellent view of a lot of the animals as they weren’t freaked by the sounds of people approaching.
Getting there and getting in
Belize City Zoo is $30BZD (£9.50) to get in and is open every day from 8:30am until 5pm.
It was so easy to get to Belize City Zoo from Belize City, there’s no need to take the expensive tours out there. I got a bus from the Terminal in the middle of the city – just ask any of the T-shirted attendants – and it took 40 minutes straight there. Tell the bus driver you want to go to the zoo and he’ll drop you right at the entrance. Just $3BZD (£1) there and the same back again.
When it came to leaving (I wanted to be back before nightfall) I exited and crossed the road to get the bus going the other way. The security guard came out and told me exactly what time the bus was leaving and that I could wait under the bus stop on his side of the road to save me from 20 minutes in the sun. I thought he was leaving and just chatting to me, but I soon found out his manager likes him to make sure people get on the bus ok. How nice is that? Love Belize.